Q.: As a homeowner, I am concerned about increasing the value of my property. Is there anything I can do?
A.: Several factors, including overall market trends, the condition of the property, specific home improvements and neighborhood stability and safety, can influence property values.
Steep price declines that have occurred over the past few years are beginning to level off, according to Dataquick Information Systems, a La Jolla firm that tracks home prices statewide.
Even though overall market conditions are out of the homeowner's control, other factors are not. For example, adding a $10,000 swimming pool in the back yard will probably not increase one's sales price by a like amount. Well-planned and executed remodeling jobs are a good investment and some specific home improvements even can increase the value above the initial cost.
According to Remodeling magazine, a bathroom remodeled in the Los Angeles area (at an average cost of $7,221) returns 75% of the investment to the owner; a major kitchen remodel (cost $22,665), 91%, and a master bedroom suite (cost $21,147), 78%.
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