One of the biggest factors outside of a homeowner's control is market conditions. Other important issues are:

  • condition of the property
  • specific home improvements
  • neighborhood stability and safety

The greatest rise in home prices occurs when the economy is strong and the number of home sales are increasing. Specific home improvements can increase the value above the cost of the improvements.

  • remodeled bathroom returns, 81 percent to the owner
  • bathroom addition, 89 percent
  • master bedroom suite, 82 percent

Remember, quality pays. Well-planned and well-executed remodeling jobs are a good investment while bad work seldom enhances value or livability.

The safety and security of a neighborhood can also affect property values. If you live in a high-crime area, an organized community watch program not only will lower the crime rate, but give home values a boost.