Marin Home / BACKSTORY
would balk at the price, she hadn’t bothered
“To check out another house — just for the fun
mentioning it. “But I thought to myself, if I
could just get him out there to see it, maybe,
just maybe, he’d change his mind.”
And so she casually floated the idea of driv-
ing out to Marin for a late afternoon lunch.
of it,” she said, noting it was near the water
and would make for a beautiful drive.
Chris said yes and they set out, stopping
for a leisurely meal at Larkspur’s Farm Shop.
“I suggested a cocktail because I wanted him
liquored up,” Linda recalls.
It worked. “I took one look at the place and
said, ‘ Yep, we gotta do this,’ ” Chris admits.
During escrow, they began picking out
finishes: premium appliances, quartz counter-
tops in both the kitchen and bathrooms, and
wide-plank red oak flooring on the main level.
For the bedroom level, they chose wall-to-wall
Berber wool because “it’s cozier than hard-
wood,” Linda notes.
At their realtor’s suggestion, they shelled out
$10,000 to have their S.F. condo professionally
staged. “Within a week we had several offers,”
Chris says, “one of which was for an ungodly
sum. This allowed us to take out a smaller than
Now beginning their second year as
Marinites, the Johnsons couldn’t be happier.
On weekdays they commute together by ferry
to the city, returning each evening to their
bayside digs. “Our work life is very stressful,”
says Chris, “but as soon as we start heading
up San Pablo Road, the blood pressure starts
coming down.” On weekends they walk the
breakwater path adjacent to their property,
watching the fisherman and taking in the
views. “We feel incredibly lucky, like we are
always on vacation,” Linda says. m
LIVING IN MARIN had long been Linda Johnson’s dream, but she never expected it to come true in her lifetime. For starters, it seemed financially unattainable.
Also, her husband, Chris, wasn’t interested
in anything less than a brand-new home.
“I knew that would be hard to come by in
Marin,” Linda says. So when they began
thinking about trading their Castro District
condo for a suburban house, they set their
sights on the East Bay.
“ We went out one weekend and viewed
three homes,” Chris says. “Two in Moraga,
one in Lafayette.” Nothing stirred them.
There was, however, a fourth property, still
under construction, that Linda had been
secretly coveting. “It was a town house in a
new housing development in San Rafael,” she
says. “But it was over budget.” Knowing Chris