About Us

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceJOHN’S STORY: Where would any of us be without our families? My parents, John and Grace, were the biggest influences in my life. They decided to move to the United States from the Netherlands early on in their marriage. My parents arrived here with practically nothing, seeking the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. However, what they lacked in possessions they more than made up for with their incredible work ethic!

Before leaving the Netherlands, my dad had been a cook in the Dutch army and had done food prep for thousands of soldiers. So, when he came to the United States, he and a new friend founded a catering business, bringing lunch trucks to workers at factories and construction sites. My dad went to work very early and put in long days, but it paid off. He started with one truck and a single route, but eventually had over twenty-five lunch trucks operating out of his business before he sold it thirty years later. I have great memories of the times I went to work with my dad. Over those years, dad had me help with a variety of different jobs at his business. I learned a lot and had fun too!

My mom had that same work ethic but poured her energy into our home. A model mother to her four children, she always kept our home clean and running like clockwork. Growing up, mom always had meals prepared that we ate together as a family around the kitchen table. My mom also impressed me with her diligence in always making a phone call and/or sending a card on the birthday of everyone in their large sphere of friends and family. She continues to be an amazing example of love and faith to me and my siblings.

Growing up in a Christian home, faith was always present in my life, and the values and morals of my belief in God continue to be an integral part of who I am. It was no surprise then that I attended a Christian college—Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan—which is associated with the church I grew up in. My dad used to always say, “If you want me to help pay for college, you have three choices: Calvin, Calvin, or Calvin.”

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceIn college, I was fortunate enough to be able to study abroad in the Netherlands, the homeland of my parents. I had been there before when I was very young, but this was a new opportunity—a chance to live as an adult in a different culture, and to get to build relationships with many of my relatives (including my grandparents) that I would otherwise probably never have gotten to know. Spending time with them and becoming acquainted with my Dutch heritage was life changing.

I really enjoyed going to school in Michigan and studying in the Netherlands, but I knew right away that I would want to return to California after graduation. Thankfully, while in college, I met someone who had the exact same desire. My wife, Mary Louise, and I had grown up just fifty miles apart in California but would probably never have met if we hadn’t both attended schools in Michigan! Mary Louise attended Blodgett School of Nursing, also in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We had a tremendous amount in common, including being of Dutch descent with parents who were immigrants. We fell in love and tied the knot in 1983.

Since Mary Louise had never been to the Netherlands before, the two of us planned a trip and traveled there early on in our marriage. She got to connect with her roots, her heritage, and her relatives just as I had. We still look back on that as our favorite vacation together, and it’s a trip we want to repeat someday soon!

Mary Louise is loving, focused, and intense—all traits that I admire—and I can’t imagine a better person to have at my side in life. Together, we have three children (Erika, Jacob, and Deana). Our greatest hope is for our children to have a strong faith, to value their heritage, and to find happiness. 

Having my own family has been both the biggest blessing and the biggest responsibility of my life. I know just how important it is to find the perfect home or make the right move for your family. I would love nothing more than to lend my knowledge and experience toward helping you do just that when the time comes. But I don’t expect your business simply because of our relationship, I only ask that you take the time to interview me and see if I might be the best agent for you. Buying or selling real estate is an immensely important transaction, and the representation you receive from your agent can have a significant impact on your results.

I realize that you have many options when choosing a real estate agent, and I encourage you to speak to several different agents. If you decide to work with someone else, I won’t be offended. I want you to pick the agent that’s the right fit for your needs. If that person ends up being me, I promise to work diligently to exceed your expectations.

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceTIM’S STORY: By veering off the path I had grown accustomed to, I started a new adventure. I didn’t let fear of the unknown hold me back. Being open to change and willing to try new things has given me a new lease on life, and an appreciation for the infinite possibilities every day holds. 

For 20 years, I worked for the same aerospace manufacturing company in Michigan, fulfilling various roles from sales, program management, project management, account management and the facilities export compliance officer. I managed and negotiated large contracts with turbine engine companies like General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce, Siemens, and many of their sub-tier companies. With three kids, it was a very good career that gave us stability and a great life. However, when my kids started growing up and leaving the state to follow their careers, I began thinking about my roots in California.

was born and raised in Walnut Creek, California. While I loved my home in Michigan, over the years, I started to miss the charm of Northern California, specifically the Bay Area. It really is a place unlike anywhere else. There is always something to do and beautiful nature to enjoy. Having family still in the area, I became more and more interested in moving back. 

After living in Michigan for nearly 27 years, I took the leap and returned to California in 2016. With an extensive history working at a casting foundry, specializing in turbine engine and aerospace applications, I quickly found a similar position in San Leandro. It felt good to be home again. During this time, it was great reconnecting with old friends, making new friends, and spending more time with my brother, John. 

Things were going great until COVID changed everything. Nearly overnight, the world shut down. To make matters worse, I was laid off late in 2020 since the air travel industry took a major hit. After a couple of months, John and I were talking and he asked if I ever thought about getting my real estate license. I told him that I was interested. John encouraged me to get the license and asked me to consider joining his team, Vander Meulen Real Estate Group. In September 2021, I received my license and got to work!

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Description automatically generatedI had to adjust to a new way of life, a new job, and a new income structure. After working in manufacturing for so many years, I had to adapt to the commission-based income that comes with working in real estate. But I was up for the challenge, as I had always been interested in the industry, thanks to exposure to my parents’ investments in real estate and watching John’s successful career from afar.

There have been many learning curves, but my project and program management experience has helped me adapt quickly. Some of those skills have proven to be helpful when coordinating the various vendors required to making necessary renovations, and meeting critical timelines, while staying “on budget” … as we assist Sellers in getting their homes ready to go on the market. It has been exciting to translate the skills I have developed over several decades into real estate. It’s another example of no matter where you are at in life, there are always opportunities to pivot, to make changes, to veer off the path and explore new possibilities. 

One of the things I love most about real estate is the opportunity to meet new people. In my previous career, I often worked with the same groups of people for years. It’s been a refreshing change, and it’s made me appreciate the diversity of the Bay Area even more. 

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time outdoors… hiking, walking, golfing, and fishing. I try to take full advantage of the incredible nature here in Northern California. I also love attending concerts, festivals, athletic events and spending time with friends and family. I also make time to visit my kids. All three are in different States: Florida, Massachusetts, and Michigan. In October 2022, my oldest and his wife had their first child, Owen. I can’t believe I’m a grandfather! It’s another new chapter starting in my life.

As I work to continue growing and developing on this new path, I’m reminded of the importance of having a good circle of support and working hard to achieve your goals. There is a lot I am proud of in my life – my kids, my work, my success – but I know there is still so much for me to do and experience! 

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Taking the first steps into the real estate industry, I was grateful to have the support of my brother, John. There was a lot to learn in the first few months, and it was great knowing whatever questions I had, he would have answers. Now that I have worked in the industry for a while, I try to fulfill that same guiding role for my clients. I provide all the information you need in order to make informed decisions. More importantly, I offer my support.

Buying and selling can be stressful; it is important to have a trusted REALTOR® on your side who can handle any problems that may arise. My extensive experience in program management has proven invaluable for my clients. I keep the process moving forward and make sure every detail is handled correctly. When the transaction is over, I will continue offering my professional services as your REALTOR® for life, dedicated to the success of all your real estate ventures. 

Thank you for taking the time to learn about us. When you or someone you know needs a real estate agent, we hope you give us the opportunity to interview for the job and demonstrate our services. 

Contact Info
John D. Vander Meulen
DRE#: 00842213
REMAX Accord logo
RE/MAX Accord
800 S. Broadway, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
DRE#: 01491373