Leaving the City
August 1, 2015 | Marin Magazine
SOMETIMES, YOU NEED to keep moving the finish line if you want to find paradise. Becky and Chris Rodskog did just that to find their home in San Anselmo.
In Becky, a workplace consultant, and Chris, a banker, decided to return to the Bay Area after 10 years away. They had met in San Francisco but jobs had taken them to Chicago and New York City. Now they wanted to come back and raise their two school-age children in Marin. The only problem? They’d never lived outside a city before.
So they rented a house in Mill Valley and began looking with their longtime friend/realtor, Radhi Ahern, for a home. As buyers “they were typical of people who move from someplace like New York,” says Ahern. “Their first thought was to be as close to San Francisco as they humanly could.”
When the Mill Valley search turned up nothing, they expanded their territory, setting the Hub in San Anselmo as their outermost limit. It seemed like a realistic boundary until Ahern and her partner, Scott Kalmbach, found this home, built in 1961, on the edge of Sleepy Hollow.
The home was set high up a gated driveway and met all the check-offs on the Rodskogs’ list: square footage, a level lawn and sun, sun, sun. “When I first saw it, I walked around and really loved how open it was and how much space it had,” says Becky, “and then I realized it also had a view and a pool. View wasn’t even on my list, but it just blew me away.”
The living room is all but dominated by the views of the Richmond–San Rafael Bridge and the San Anselmo hills, seen through floor-to-ceiling windows. Airy, with vaulted ceilings, it has a funky lava rock fireplace, a nod to the home’s vintage. The room flows directly into the dining room, anchored by a long table (from Cost Plus), where the Rodskogs often entertain as many as 12.
When the weather is nice, they gather friends and family in the courtyard outside the dining room or on the deck next to the 45-foot-long lap pool. It’s a prime place to barbecue and watch kids play, and the family’s out-of-town company can retreat to their full guesthouse afterwards.
One sticking point: it’s all located a good five minutes beyond the Hub. The Rodskogs timed it, thought about it and let it go. “I was nervous about being so far away from the city,” says Becky. “But honestly, I feel like I’m living in a resort.”
WHERE THEY PURCHASED The Sleepy Hollow neighborhood of San Anselmo
WHAT THEY BOUGHT A contemporary five-bedroom home with guesthouse
LISTING AGENT Tracy McLaughlin, Pacific Union
SELLING AGENTS Ahern + Kalmbach, Radhi Ahern and Scott Kalmbach STATS Price per square foot for homes in the neighborhood: $699
BY LAURA HILGERS