You set a certain budget for your house hunt—and you can’t go a penny over it. But what if you want to expand your search a wee bit beyond a specific neighborhood? We decided to play the comparison game by exploring what you can buy for a certain dollar value in various California neighborhoods in a new series we’re calling “Cali Comparables.” We’re going across the Golden State to give you an idea of how far your dollar goes in certain areas.

This week, we’re headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County — home to George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch and wealthy bohemian enclaves — to get a picture of the real estate landscape. We’ll be honest…it’s rough out there. Real estate is hot and inventory is tight, driving up both demand and prices all across the county from Novato to Tiburon. A median priced home is currently at $943,900 — up 6.8% over the past year…and most real estate agents say that number is low.  Even if you move your price point up to $2 million (or slightly over/under), the name of the game in Marin County is still: “May the force be with you.” So what kind of house can you afford for $2 million right now?

Bolinas

BLOG_1125 Olema Bolinas Living room1125 Olema Bolinas Road, Bolinas, CA 94924 | $1,900,000

This picturesque three-bedroom, 1,302 square-foot farmhouse for the Rancho Bolinas is all about its bucolic setting. And architecture. (After all, it was remodeled by famous architect Robert Marquis…including a large redwood barn with workshop, level lawn and separate studio.) Located on a sunny, private spot with an intimate view of Bolinas Lagoon, the hills above and San Francisco in the distance, the home has a natural elegance with an unpretentious feel. It doesn’t get any more “Marin” than that, right?

San Rafael

23 Center Street, San Rafael, CA 94901 | $2,275,000

The operative word for San Rafael is space. This beautiful five bedroom, 2,860 square-foot residence offers more than enough room to spread out, unlike its coastal predecessors. You’ve got a sun-filled great room that’s a total “knockout,” say the listing agents from Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in San Anselmo, plus you’ll have a “wow” kitchen with stainless appliances and Carrara marble island with breakfast bar. What else? Try a spacious living room with gas fireplace, a lovely dining area with vaulted ceilings and gleaming hardwood floors. Other perks: a romantic master suite, additional en-suite bedroom on the lower level, four baths, family room, and a bonus attic space that’s ideal for a hobby room, office, playroom or storage.

Tiburon

4386 Paradise Drive, Tiburon, CA 94920 | $2,275,000

A nearly half acre lot in Tiburon? Yes, please. Add in a spacious floor plan, vaulted ceilings and expansive windows to capture the Bay views and you’ve got the stuff dreams are made of. Located on the coveted (and aptly named) Paradise Drive, the 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home “is enhanced by lush landscaping, patios and large, level play areas,” says the listing agent from Coldwell Banker in Tiburon. There is also a hot tub/spa and service cabana to add to outdoor enjoyment. You don’t have to twist our arm.

Click here for more Marin County homes for sale priced around $2,000,000.