Paradise Cay

Everybody wants to carve out a nice place to live and raise a family, but one Marin resident took the idea literally, removing part of a small mountain and blasting canals into the landscape to create his dream community.

Tim, known as T. I., Moseley made his fortune inventing nautical instruments and in 1956 used some of that money to buy Ring Point at the foot of the Tiburon Peninsula where, after removing the earth that stood in his way, he began digging out canals like those he had seen and admired in Newport Beach. By the early 1960s some of the first homes were ready to be occupied in a new waterfront community called Paradise Cay.

“The name was inspired by the Caribbean,” says Tim’s grandson Jeff, who also enjoys life in one of the 200 homes in the unincorporated area of Marin and even sells real estate there through his company Anchor Realty. “We love living on the water and getting the chance to kayak, windsurf, paddle board, kite surf and sail.”

In a community where almost every resident has a dock or a bay view and a majority have boats, a love of activity isn’t unusual, but what is less common is how far the Moseleys have gone with their enthusiasm for sports: one of Jeff’s two brothers is Jonny, who won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1998 as part of the U.S. Ski Team.

Currently Jeff and Jonny, their parents and even Jeff’s parents-in-law all have homes in Paradise Cay. “It’s a real blessing having our family here; we do stuff together all the time,” Jeff says. “And we get free babysitting.

“There is a real active waterfront community revolving around waterfront living,” he adds. His favorite events range from Friday night sailboat racing at the Tiburon Yacht Club to fishing for salmon and halibut off his back deck, which opens right into the bay with the Richmond Bridge just beyond. “You get a big bang for your buck here.”

Local resident and youth sailing instructor Pat Lopez also loves the Friday night races. “It is so cool to sail right out of your backyard to the race,” he says. About three years ago Lopez took on the task of teaching local kids to sail, through a summer program at the yacht club. The program teaches youth between the ages of 8 and 13 to sail on eight-foot Optimist dinghies; they start in the safety of the Paradise Cay Yacht Harbor and move out to the bay when the winds and their skill levels are right. “It is great to see the kids riding their bikes to lessons in their life jackets and wet suits,” Lopez adds.

Living in a waterfront community has another advantage for some like Lopez. “In the summer I commute by boat to work,” says Lopez, also the harbormaster for Loch Lomond Marina in San Rafael. “I can make it to work in 10 to 15 minutes and I might even do a little trolling on the way home.”

Pacific Union realtor Penny Wright-Mulligan has lived in Paradise Cay for 27 years and, although she has moved within the community three times, wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else. “We have the boating and social life here,” she says. “And it is a great place to raise kids.” Wright-Mulligan says the flat streets full of children, the safe neighborhood (there is only one way in and one way out of Paradise Cay) and the Halloween and Fourth of July parades remind her of the lifestyle she enjoyed growing up in Connecticut. Indeed, she says many of her clients are couples from San Francisco with young children who are “looking for a community lifestyle and a great school district.”

Although the market is tight for Paradise Cay real estate, Wright-Mulligan has seen homes sell for a low $998,000 this year and a high of $3.8 million. There is even a $6.3 million home on the market right now.

In terms of inventory, there are 10 homes currently on the market including five rare brand-new homes right on the water that were just finished. These homes include 60-foot deepwater docks and upgraded finishes and are priced from $1.825 to $2.495 million. It seems that for those enamored with with waterfront living, Paradise Cay is a popular place to drop anchor.