Melissa Van Leeuwen's Blog Posts

Have a Seat: A Guide to Kitchen Counter and Bar Stools

The old adage, "The Kitchen is the Heart of the Home," still holds true today - especially with the popularity of the open floor plan concept that's found in newer home communities, but has also

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Make a Statement: Tips for Choosing a Dining Room Chandelier

As a REALTOR, I'm lucky to have the opportunity to tour many homes in Steiner Ranch and throughout the greater Austin area on a weekly basis. Without fail, there's always at least one home that

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Light it Up! How to Choose Your Bathroom Vanity Lighting

Happy New Year 2019! Having taken a short break to celebrate the holiday season, it's time to get back to work...and continue with my blog post series covering a variety of obscure (yet helpful)

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Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall - How to Choose a Bathroom Mirror

It’s time for part 2 of my blog post series covering a variety of obscure (yet helpful) topics – today we tackle bathroom mirrors.Realistically, you probably don’t pay much

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How High Should My TV Be?

Originally Posted on October 24, 2018As a real estate agent, I often get these types of questions: How’s the local housing market doing? What’s the best time to sell my house? What can I

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Popular Home Styles in Austin

Originally Posted on September 7, 2018Mid-Century Modern. Colonial. Craftsman. Ranch. Tudor. Mediterranean. If you’ve ever watched any HGTV, you’ve likely heard these terms thrown around

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Curb Appeal: The ROI on Outdoor Projects (Updated)

Originally Posted on June 4, 2018NOTE: I originally blogged about this topic in July 2017. However, the National Association of Landscape Professionals – in conjunction with the National

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Timely Tip: How to Protest Your Property Taxes

Originally Posted on May 4, 2018Are you still trying to get over the shock of this year’s property tax appraisal notice? According to the Travis County Chief Appraiser, the median market

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Styling Your Home for an Open House

Originally Posted on March 29, 2018Is your home currently listed for sale? Or, are you planning to sell your home soon? Homeowners should know how incredibly important it is to make a home look its

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Helpful Tips When Updating Your Kitchen

Originally Posted on February 14, 2018You’ve decided that it’s time to give your kitchen a refresh or a total facelift – so now what? Having just personally gone through this

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What the New Tax Reform Laws Mean for You as a Homeowner

Originally Posted on January 9, 2018As many of you may be aware, President Trump recently signed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act as passed by Congress. But do you know how these changes will impact you

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Home Buyers: Your Credit Score REALLY Matters!

Originally Posted on December 7, 2017Have you been searching for the perfect home? Are you prepared to act quickly if you find “the one”? Planning ahead and being prepared are critical

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Planning to Buy a Home Soon? Get Pre-Qualified First, Then Find Your Dream Home!

Originally Posted on November 17, 2017The current real estate market in the Austin metro area is both fast-moving and highly competitive.  As a home buyer, you need to know how much house you

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Planning to Sell Your Home? Quick Tips for Staging Your Home on a Budget

Originally Posted on November 3, 2017When you’re planning to sell your home, consulting with a real estate agent is a MUST first step. An experienced agent not only helps guide you through the

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Back To School Action Plan - Creating a Tidy Bedroom for Your Child

Originally Posted September 12, 2017School is back in session and the kids are getting to know their new teachers while learning a new routine.  Having a clean, well-organized bedroom can help

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From Blah to Spa - How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Cost?

Originally Posted on August 16, 2017Do you ever walk into a room in your house and feel like it's time for a makeover or a complete do-over? Well, this is us when it comes to our master bathroom!

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Curb Appeal - The ROI on Outdoor Projects

Originally Posted on July 18, 2017If you've ever bought or sold a home or spent a weekend binge-watching HGTV then you're probably familiar with the term curb appeal. Curb appeal plays a significant

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Home Loans for Veterans - A Quick Overview

Originally Posted on July 6, 2017Having just celebrated America's Independence Day, I'm reminded of the men and women – past and present – that have answered the call of duty and

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Love It or List It? To Renovate or Relocate - Things to Consider

Originally Posted on June 1, 2017Most homeowners at some point will face the age-old real estate conundrum: should they fix up their current home to better fit their needs or is it time to move? The

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It's Property Tax Season!

Originally posted on May 11, 2017Did you know that from 1992-2010, the population of Texas grew by 40%, yet local property taxes increased by 188%? That means the property tax burden outpaced

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Why New Home Buyers Need Representation

Originally posted on April 27, 2017Did you know that the most expensive component nearly 50% – of a new single-family home is the lot/land? Did you also know that new home builders typically

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Building Your New Home Wish List - What's Important?

Originally posted on April 10, 2017As you consider new home construction (or even a resale home), there is so much to think about. Often, you have an idea of a future home with the usual needs,

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Spec Home vs. Custom Home

Originally Posted on March 23, 2017What's the difference between a speculative (spec) home and a custom home? What's the value in choosing a small builder or a large production builder? Deciding

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Identifying the Right Subdivision or Community

Did you know that in Texas, the median length of time a homeowner stays in a home is 10 years?That's why it is so important for buyers to carefully evaluate the pros/cons of a subdivision or

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The Advantages of Buying a New Home

Originally posted on February 22, 2017As the demand for resale homes in the Austin metro area continues to outpace the supply available, buyers may want to consider new home construction. So what

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Flipping Homes in Austin - Flip or Flop

Originally posted on January 30, 2017Flip or flop? Apparently flipping homes is currently a flop in Austin. Not sure if I totally believe what they are saying in this article, but there’s

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