Are you normally running late in the morning and don’t have time to meticulously clean up that massive smoothie spill as you frantically run out the door or are you a to your counters. Wherever you are on this spectrum you need to know these tips before buying that milk white marble with gorgeous blue-gray veining you just saw on Pinterest!



Marble: The Epitome of Luxury

All marble is composed of calcite. While it looks like a tough material, calcium is sensitive to acid. Anything acidic like lemons, wine and vinegar will react with the calcium and dissolve the area. 

  1. Get a sealant for your marble and reseal it every couple of years. An impregnating seal is recommended and you can get a $20 - $60 bottle at any hardware store. 

  2. You could chose to hone your marble to help hide blemishes or dullness. Honed marble will give a matte and smooth finish. 

  3. Every 1-2 years have a professional come to repair the surface for a couple hundred dollars. They’ll bring their sandpaper and polishing pads and make your marble look close to new again. 

Don’t be afraid that marbled is easily scratched and is not acid-friendly because YES, marble can be restored and the patina that it gets over time is a desired look by some. 


Granite: The Workhorse of Stone Counters

A silica-based rock that typically has a speckled look from crystallized minerals. It’s considered to be a hard material (read: scratch-resistant), it’s great for kitchens and areas that will take a beating. If it does get chipped, repairs are fairly easy. It’s not as porous as marble, so you don’t have to worry about staining and wiping spills right away. 

Tip: Ask the fabricator or installer for the type of sealer they used on yours so you can get the same one for future reapplication; sometimes different sealants react badly with one another. 

Granite is also one of the more heat-resistant stones so no need to worry about having to place that too-hoot baking sheet directly on the counter. 


Quartzite: The Budget Breaker

Not to be confused with quartz, quartzite is characterized by streaks and striations that are kind of similar to marble. But unlike the softer marble, quartzite is harder and durable. Just like every other natural stone, it should be sealed during installation and resealed over time. Because it is not very porous material, is scratch-resistant and is not sensitive to acid, it’s a great alternative for hard-working kitchens. It’s also UV-resistant so it’s a great option for outdoor use without the worry of fading from sun exposure. You might be surprised to find out that marble is in fact not the most expensive of stones - that distinction goes to quartzite. 


Quartz: Low Maintenace Luxury

A type of engineered stone made up of loose quartz mineral aggregates, mineral pigment and a binder, usually resin. Because they’re engineered and non-porous, they are stain-resistant, durable, acid-friendly and generally require no additional sealing. A very low-maintenance stone for a low-maintenance lifestyle. You can cut all the lemons you want, but because they contain resin they are very sensitive to high heat. So unless you want burn marks, use a trivet! If you’re thinking of using quartz for that outdoor kitchen, you should know it’s not very uv-friendly like quartzite. 


Porcelain: The look of natural stone without the maintenance

A newcomer in the countertop industry game, it is extremely hard and strong. It is very resistant to chipping, scratches and general wear and tear. Because it’s manufactured under high temperatures, it has no problem handling hot pots or heat tools in the bathroom. One of the best things about using porcelain counters is that you can use high definition inkjet printing technology to get photos of natural stone printed onto your porcelain slab, all without the upkeep of the real deal. A bonus perk: the glazing means no additional sealant is required to protect from moisture and staining. You can even install it over an existing countertop. It’s made out of clay, making it a very green material that can be recycled at the end of its life cycle. 


So really the most important tip we can leave you with is to think about your lifestyle and how much liquid, heat and traffic the countertop will be exposed to. You need to be aware of the limitations so you can properly care for it! 

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Having a smart home isn’t a necessity. It’s an investment. We use these guidelines before spending time, money and energy on new technology:


Save Money


While not every product can justify its price, many solutions available today can actually pay for themselves and even save you money in the long run. From smart thermostats to LED lightbulbs, spending a little today can pay dividends later and reduce your environmental impact.


Reduce Friction

Any product that eliminates an annoyance, or makes your day a little easier. Simplify common tasks without added extra steps in the process.


Increase Security

Smart locks, motion detectors and cameras are a good step in that directions. Look for products with increased functionality paired with common sense security. Smart locks must contain strong bolts, cameras must be encrypted, etc.


Avoid Obsolescence

The smart home market is still in its “wild west” phase. Look for products that play nice with others. The last thing you want to do is invest in a product or system that is no longer supported a year from now.  


Build Something Cool

A smart home is compelling. Who doesn’t want to lock doors with your voice, have lights sync to music or get cell phone alerts during an attempted break-in?


After decades of science fiction, the smart home is finally in reach!

These are our to picks for a smart home:


Dyson Vacuum


Frame TV


LG Homebrew Beer


Kohler Sensate Faucets


Robot Lawn Mower



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The Joy of Decluttering


One of the biggest challenges sellers face when listing their house is decluttering.

No area of your home is safe from the gaze of a serious house hunter. Buyers need to see the space they are getting to see how good the value is. Consumer Reports says there’s a 3-5% value increase for a clean, decluttered house. That’s why it’s crucial to maximize every square inch of your place by minimizing your overall clutter.


Lessons from the Tidying Up expert


You are in luck! Marie Kondo, author & Netflix star of The KonMari Method of Tidying Up has some great lessons for sorting through years of accumulated possessions. The KonMari method teaches you when to hold on and when to let go by using that initial gut feeling you have when you pick your stuff. Gut reactions mean quick and intuitive decisions!


Lesson 1. Let Go of Things to Make Room for the Things That Matter

Before you move a single thing, the first step in Kondo's method is to visualize the life you wish to have with a clutter-free space. In the case of selling your home, decluttering will help you emotionally move out and be ready when the time comes. Sorting through your stuff ahead of time will help you see that your things will move with you, and to focus on that rather than the actual house. When you start to see your home changing, because you are packing or getting rid of items, it will become less your home, and more a place you are staying ready for your next adventure!


Lesson 2: Keep Only the Things That Spark Joy


One of the first steps in Kondo's method is to identify what "sparks joy" for you. Pick it up - don't just observe it from afar, turn it over in your hands, study it. How does this possession make you feel? Whether you are selling your house to move up to a larger one or downsizing, only bring the items that truly spark joy for you. This will not only help cut down on the items you move, but also ensures that you’re off to a great start in your new home!


Lesson 3: “Someday” never comes


Think of those “someday” possessions you own. It might be a pile of magazine clippings, a bundle of unidentified wires or a stockpile of crafts. Yes, it’s good to be prepared, but at what cost? According to Kondo, possessions are stripped of their dignity when they go unused in the home.

3 Steps to a Clutter-Free Home

The goal is to minimise your things. You want to ensure that a buyer can open all cupboards and doors easily and fully, that there are no obstacles in the way or things that will cascade onto them. Don’t get discouraged if the process takes longer than you thought it would–it’s a big job. Set a deadline for yourself, and do your best to stick to it.

Step 1. Carve out an afternoon to start the process.

Start with the room that needs the most TLC. Maybe your living room is stuffed with kids’ toys or your clothes spill out all over your bedroom floor. Grab several trash bags and locate everything in the house to its proper room.

Step 2. Recognize the mess before it gets better.

Take out everything from its proper place. Then, you’re literally going to hold everything and recognize if 1. It brings you positive energy 2. You legitimately need it.

Step 3. Now, organize your decluttered space.

Now that you’ve pared down everything you no longer feel joyful about or need, begin placing, folding and hanging everything as if your cupboards, drawers and closets were in a designer boutique.


The Grant Gardner Team has helped plenty of clients navigate the daunting task of tidying up before a home sale. It’s important to create an ideal lifestyle and home that buyers will aspire to - especially before your scheduling your marketing photos! Call on the team when you need storage solutions, recycling and donation advice. We’re here to help you transition into your next home with ease!

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GIve in to Giving this Season!


Charitable organizations need your gracious support this time of year.
We are spotlighting  a few making a positive impact in our community:


  1. Blanket BC Society - Donate blankets, socks, toques, scarves, pillowcases, winter jackets and long underwear. Call to arrange a pick-up of your items!

  2. Lynn Valley Lions Club - Purchase a christmas tree that gives back to the community.

  3. Bikes For Tykes - Do you have an old bike sitting in the garage? Drop it off at Obsession Bikes in North Van where they will tune it up and deliver it to a kid in need!

  4. Operation Red Nose - Get a safe ride home by donation and support youth on the North Shore. They are also looking for volunteer drivers.

  5. Harvest Project - is accepting food donations and volunteers for their programs.

  6. Canadian Blood Services - Blood donations are greatly needed during the holidays. See what blood type is in shortage on their website.

  7. BC Children’s Hospital - Make the holidays brighter for thousands of kids and their families in BC by participating in a virtual snowball fight.

  8. Keithmas VIII - Keithmas celebrates the wild and crazy Keith RIchards with Rolling Stones covers by local bands and 100% of proceed go to the food bank!

  9. Pan Pacific Christmas Wish Breakfast - Bring your christma spirit and a new children’s toy for a child in need. Enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast buffet for your generosity.

  10. Stanley park Christmas Train - Ride the train, enjoy the lights and drink hot chocolate to support Fire Fighters Burn Fund that has been helping burn survivors since 1998.


The gift of time is as precious as any monetary donation. There are small acts of kindness you can do to brighten someone’s day without spending anything!


  1. Pick up litter in parks or at the beach

  2. Let someone go in front of you in line

  3. Give a stranger a compliment

  4. Write letter to the Canadian Troops

  5. Visit a care home for the elderly

  6. Hold open doors for people

  7. Shovel a neighbour’s driveway when it snows

  8. Babysit for a friendn for free

  9. Learn to say hello in a different languages

  10. Take the time to listen to someone


Every action in the spirit of giving creates a ripple effect in the world. If giving, rather than getting, was our primary focus, we would experience more happiness and contentment. By starting each day with the simple remembrance “What can I offer the world today”, our hearts will lead us to the answer.


Happy Holidays From the Grant Gardner Team!





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You’ll need these tips & ticks to entice buyers to come in out of the cold:

Let in the Light

Pull up the blinds, push back the drapes on every window (unless the view or outdoor scenery is particularly undesirable). Turn on every light in the house, including appliance lights and closet lights.

Make Everything Sparkle

Washing the windows enhances the precious daylight hours. Clean out cobwebs and dust furniture, ceiling fan blades, and light fixtures. Check out our list to get your home shining in 30-days!

Turn Up the Heat

You want the temperature inside to be comfortable and to give buyers more incentive to linger, especially on a cold day. It's better to heat the house a degree or two warmer than usual and then set the temperature at normal; this prevents the heat from kicking on when the buyer is present. If you have a fireplace, light it up!

Make an Entrance

A rubber mat by the front door and a container to hold wet umbrellas and shoes is a great idea to prevent soaking your entryway. Keep pathways salted and in the rare event it snows, shovel a path, including the sidewalk so buyers aren’t forced to crawl through snowdrifts!

Set the Mood

You want rooms to appear especially warm, cozy and inviting. Make your living room romantic by placing two champagne glasses near a champagne bucket on the coffee table; toss afghans or throws across the arms of your sofa. Dress your dining room table for a dinner for two.

Turn On the Sound

Have soft music playing throughout; light jazz or classical music is always soothing. Don't turn on a commercial radio station; instead stream your tunes from a computer or tablet, using iTunes or Spotify, so that your music will be continuous. Don’t forget to mute the ringers on telephones and answering machines.

Ease Up on the Scents

Many people are sensitive to certain perfumes, so don't spray the air or plug in air fresheners. Instead bake or reheat bread or cookies or warm up a pot of cinnamon on the stove.

Christmas Decorations

Keep to a decorations to a tasteful minimum. Don’t block or cover up important selling features like fireplace mantels, stairs or windows.


Looking for a Real Estate Team with holiday sale experience? The Grant Gardner Team has cleaned, painted, staged, marketed and sold a home just 4 days before Christmas. We even set a new benchmark price for the area, selling the home $150,000 more than the listing price!


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The data relating to real estate on this website comes in part from the MLS® Reciprocity program of either the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) or the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB). Real estate listings held by participating real estate firms are marked with the MLS® logo and detailed information about the listing includes the name of the listing agent. This representation is based in whole or part on data generated by either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB which assumes no responsibility for its accuracy. The materials contained on this page may not be reproduced without the express written consent of either the REBGV, the FVREB or the CADREB.