Note from Investopedia: Home prices are on the rise in many parts of the country, and even though the housing market plays a key role in the overall economic recovery, the rebound extends far beyond this sector. Gerri Willis, author of "Home Rich" and host of "The Willis Report" offers some tips below for maintaining the value of your home, no matter what the economic climate.

How Much Do You Know About Your Market?
The real estate market is in the dumps … right? Well, maybe not where you live. The truth is
real estate is local. You can't assume your friend's home in the next town or the next county is worth as much as yours. Work with an agent or do your own research, but get accurate prices and information and be informed about your market.

Do You Really Need Diamond-Encrusted Toilets?
OK, that might be an extreme example, but it is important to be conscious of what constitutes an improvement and what is an over-improvement. In other words, don't renovate your house to a level that far exceeds other homes in the neighborhood. If you over-improve - adding the island, Wolf stove and top-of-the line fridge in a neighborhood where few people can afford those amenities, you probably won't see the value in those home improvements when it comes time to sell.

Talk to Your Neighbor About Your Community?
Rally the neighbors! Urge them to maintain their homes as nicely as you do yours and talk to them about how that helps everyone. At a condominium complex in Florida, one resident went so far as to publicly post the names of owners delinquent on their maintenance fees. It's an extreme example, of course, and while that resident won't be winning any "Neighbor of the Year" contests, he at least showed that he cares about preserving values.

Have You Gone the Extra Mile?
Try organizing a neighborhood watch. Not only will it make your home safer, but it will focus you and your neighbors on home values and working together to raise them. Or volunteer to mow the unruly grass of a foreclosed home. You have to be willing to go that extra step. Foreclosed homes can bring the value of an entire neighborhood down in a heartbeat.

Can a Little Bit Really Go a Long Way?
There are many tips to sell your home faster, but even little things can turn off a buyer. A broken window or paint peeling from a shutter can send people away. Keeping your home in top form encourages everybody else to do the same and increases the likelihood that buyers will see your block as an attractive alternative.

The Bottom Line
On Friday, Feb. 8, FOX Business Network (FBN) will host "The Real Estate Story," a behind-the-scenes look at the United States housing market and its prospects for 2013. The network-wide special will feature expert analysis from the housing industry's major players, as well as an in-depth assessment of regional real estate markets.

Related Articles
  1. Home & Auto

    7 Absolute No-Nos When Selling a Home

    Avoid these mistakes if you’re looking to make a quick and easy home sale.
  2. Stock Analysis

    Home Depot: Can its Shares Continue Climbing?

    Home Depot has outperformed the market by a wide margin in the last 12 months. Is this sustainable?
  3. Home & Auto

    How Property Taxes Are Calculated

    Property taxes are calculated through use of the mill levy and the assessed property values.
  4. Home & Auto

    Understanding Property Deeds

    A property deed is an instrument that enables sellers to convey real property to buyers, who become the new owners.
  5. Home & Auto

    Why You May Not Be Ready To Buy a Home

    Many dream of home ownership, but the timing should be right. There are a host of reasons why you may want to put off homeownership for awhile.
  6. Home & Auto

    New Construction’s Hidden Costs Can Burn Buyers

    A new home may be appealing in many ways, but it can also burn buyers with numerous hidden costs. Here are a few things to watch for.
  7. Stock Analysis

    Will Clorox (CLX) Continue to Clean Up?

    Clorox might not be the most exciting company, but sometimes boring is best for long-term investors.
  8. Home & Auto

    Buy a House in the Philippines: A How-To Guide

    Foreign-ownership regulations make it a little tricky, but plan right and you can have a home in paradise.
  9. Home & Auto

    5 Ways Overvaluing Your Home Can Hurt You

    Getting top dollar for your home is everyone's goal, but overvaluing your home can hurt its chances of being sold.
  10. Personal Finance

    Looking for Cost-Effective Ways to Save Water?

    There are lots of things you can do to save water at home while reducing your ecological footprint at the same time. Here are five simple ways to do it.
  1. Do mortgage escrow accounts earn interest?

    A bank is not required to pay interest on any escrow accounts (also mortgage impound accounts) it holds for its customers. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the best ways to pay off my mortgage quickly?

    There are two main strategies for paying off a mortgage more quickly, which can be used alone or in tandem: making larger ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the pros and cons of a simple-interest mortgage?

    The basic disadvantage of a simple interest mortgage lies in the fact that unless the borrower conscientiously makes all ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Is a waiver of subrogation clause better for a tenant or a landlord?

    A waiver of subrogation clause is good for both a tenant and a landlord. A waiver of subrogation is a two-way agreement in ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Is the high cost of installing solar panels justified by the money saved by going ...

    In favorable locations and under suitable conditions, homeowners can recuperate the cost of installing solar panels. The ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. If my home runs power off the grid, what is the specific environmental impact?

    Running a solar-powered home with energy that is natural or off the grid has several environmental benefits. By using solar ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center