LifestyleMarkets & Economy

Community spotlight: Ross

A slice of small-town luxury near the city
  • Ross has some of the strictest land use laws in the Bay Area, and the homes are designed to blend into the surrounding environment instead of standout from it.
  • One of its first city ordinances was to prohibit the cutting down of any trees inside the city limits without city approval.
  • The average listing price for a home in Ross is over $3 million, but many homes in Ross are sold without ever being listed.

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ross ca

Behzad Zandinejad

Long before there was any permanent settlement where Ross, California, sits, members of the coastal Miwok tribe lived off the bounty of the land. The Miwok believed in living in harmony with the plants and animals, and much of that same spirit lives on today in the residents of Ross.

It can be hard to see many of the palatial multi-million dollar homes while driving around because the town continues to have a rich, thick canopy of native trees. Ross also has some of the strictest land use laws in the area, and the homes are designed to blend into the surrounding environment instead of standout from it.

Living in Ross

Ross was founded in 1908. One of its first city ordinances was to prohibit the cutting down of any trees inside the city limits without city approval. Because of this, many of the trees that dot the town today date back from before the founding  of the town.

ross ca

Behzad Zandinejad

While only located 18 miles from San Francisco, this town is in another world. Ross is situated at the base of Mount Tamalpais and almost every home has a spectacular view of the mountain and is within walking distance of world-class hiking and mountain biking trails.

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The citizens here are active in their community and proud of what they have built. Many of the public buildings, including the post office and city hall, are stunning examples of historical architecture.

The residents of Ross may prefer to live among towers of trees instead of towering skyscrapers, but they are close enough to San Francisco to be able to enjoy all the city has to offer while still being able to enjoy small town life.

People of Ross

Ross has a population of 2,400, and the town intends to keep it that way. The land use and zoning laws are designed to keep out major developments. This means that any house coming to market in Ross is sold for a premium. The median household income in the town is $171,250, according to U.S. Census data from 2010.

Ross is a quiet community. The people are proud of their heritage and are filled with civic pride. The town spends equal effort to both preserve its natural beauty and its historical architectural heritage. Ross gives residents a rare combination of luxury and small-town living.

The Housing Market

The average listing price for a home in Ross is over $3 million, but many homes in Ross are sold without ever being listed. When a home does come onto the open market, it usually sells quickly. It is essential that any buyer looking at homes in Ross have a well-connected broker, otherwise they may never even have a chance to make an offer on a home before it has been sold.

ross ca

Behzad Zandinejad

Most of the homes are spacious, country-style estates, hidden among the redwoods. In the early 1900s, San Francisco’s elite built large vacation houses in Ross, and many of these well-preserved historic mansions are now lived in throughout the year.

Behzad Zandinejad is a Marin County real estate broker associate with Decker Bullock Sotheby’s International Realty.