Question:   How do you increase the value of your property?

Answer:   The biggest factor that can affect property value -- market conditions -- are outside of your control. But other factors -- including the condition of the property, certain home improvements and neighborhood stability and safety -- are not.

For example, specific home improvements can increase your property value above the cost of the improvements themselves, such as remodeling a kitchen, adding a bathroom, finishing a basement or upgrading landscaping. Just be sure that quality pays with remodeling. A bad remodeling job will do little to boost your property value.

If you live in a high-crime area, an organized community watch program not only will lower the crime rate but can enhance property values, too. It also helps to live in an area where other homeowners are upgrading their homes, which can help pull up your property value, too.

The bottom line is to measure the cost of any improvements you want to make against the overall values in your neighborhood. If you overimprove for the neighborhood, you may not necessarily recover your costs or boost your property value significantly.




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