What Updates Should I Do to My House?

by Lizzy Conroy
January 8, 2023

“What Updates Should I Do to My House?”

Friends, neighbors and clients often ask me “What updates should I do to my house?”  

This question comes not necessarily with the intent to sell immediately, but with an interest to make sound decisions to put money into their home in ways that both add immediate value and are in tune with what home buyers are interested in seeing.

Let’s look at updates to areas of the home that will protect and increase your home’s equity.

New fixtures.  Have you recently had new fixtures installed?  Fixtures and lighting trends change with time and also require proper wiring with the electrician, whether you are doing a kitchen remodel or putting recessed lighting in the basement.  Talk to your electrician and ask if your home is up to code and any suggestions they have for electrical efficiency in your home.  

Updated lighting fixtures in the home are a cost effective value add to homeowners and homebuyers alike.  Take into consideration that a homebuyer does not want to take on the task of putting in recessed lighting in high traffic spaces, and they are very appreciative when it has been done.  

If you have recessed lighting, consider lighting in other areas.  Does your pantry have a motion light sensor?  Do you have motion lighting under your kitchen cabinets?  These additional features brighten the home and are talking points and selling points.

Updated Vanity.  Your bathrooms might be clean and tidy and you are happy with the tiled floor but how old are the vanities?  New vanities, fresh paint, updated fixtures, and backsplash tile can update a space very quickly without taking on the load of a full renovation.  

Updating the Kitchen.  Updating the kitchen can be a large-scale event requiring $50-100K+ budget, depending on the size of the space and number of appliances and fixtures.  Some kitchen spaces are more forgiving than others.  For instance, is your space 25 or more years old, but the cupboards are solid wood and painting them might be an option?  This can be a good question for a trusted real estate agent, to look at a kitchen space and give some feedback if the space can be updated without a full gut job.  Painting cabinets, putting new knobs and handles, new lighting fixtures and new countertops may be an option and could save thousands.  It’s a good idea to ask for a second opinion.

Hardwoods.  If you have carpeted floors in the home, in the bedrooms, or the basement, and you would like advice on what type of flooring works best in which spaces, this is a good area to gather feedback.  There are many different flooring options nowadays and many composite floor options can be sturdy and beautiful and not as expensive as hardwood.  

Exterior Paint.  Some homeowners update the exterior look of the home with new paint on the shutters and front door.  These paint touches to the exterior can be attractive and offer curb appeal.  

If you are considering painting the entire exterior a white brick or other color, a second opinion would be useful.  Staying in tune with your complementing colors and any other considerations that may be needed.  If you are in an HOA, there will be guidelines to follow.  

Gardens and Hardscapes.  Outdoor gardens and hardscapes bring a beautiful exterior presence to the home, additional living spaces and will be admired by neighbors, friends, and homebuyers alike.  We work with companies from routine lawn maintenance to full garden design.  Navigating outdoor designs can be daunting.  It is advised to gather counsel for larger outdoor projects.  

Whatever area of the home you are working on updating or considering updates and upgrades, getting a bit of advice can go a long way.  Whether advice will help to secure an excellent contractor, or help save money or headaches, feel free to reach out and ask.  These are common questions that we receive and are happy to answer!

Your Agent for Life,



Lizzy Conroy is partner at Huckaby Briscoe Conroy Group. Lizzy graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in Economics and has served in a number of professional capacities in the Washington, DC area a first with the international trade group of Hogan Lovells, then as a marketing manager with MicroStrategy of McLean, VA. She also held business development positions with Kalmia Construction, a Maryland-based commercial construction company, and Newmark LLC, a New York City-based commercial real estate firm.

Lizzy is the 2017 American Mothers, Inc. Virginia Mother of the Year and currently serves on the AMI National Board of Directors. Lizzy is the 2005 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society National Woman of the Year and is a past member of the LLS Board of Trustees. She is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Northern Virginia and is a devoted member of her church, Trinity United Methodist. She is a member of River Bend Golf & Country Club, Great Falls, VA. She and her husband, Steve, live in McLean, Virginia with their two children.

Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland

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