Some changes to your home value you can’t help. If the market falls, it falls – there’s not much you can do. But, when the market is steady or even increasing, there are ways you can make sure your home keeps the same pace and appreciates like the other homes in the area.

Here’s how.

Keep up with the Maintenance

It might seem harmless to let a little plumbing issue go, for example, but what happens when that little issue becomes a larger issue?

Suddenly that little problem turns into leaks, mold growth, and water damage. What was probably a minor expense and inconvenience is now a major issue that harms the value of your home. If you tried to sell right now, you may even have trouble selling because most lenders don’t allow buyers to close on homes that have mold or water damage.

Keep up with routine maintenance, setting aside 1 percent of your home’s value each year to take care of these things.

Keep up with the Curb Appeal

Your home’s exterior plays a big role in its value. If your home is kept up on the outside, what does that say about what to expect on the inside? The fewer buyers that even step foot in your home bring your value down. If there’s no demand, the price must come down.

Avoid this issue by keeping up with your landscaping, grass grooming, and even keeping the exterior of your home clean. You may need to power wash the siding, replace it, or paint it. What about the roof? Is it in good condition or has it seen better days? Roof replacements help home value significantly, so pay attention to your roof’s health and replace it as necessary.

Just keeping out the outside of your home, though, can help ensure you have good curb appeal and good value.

Update your Home

Update doesn’t mean renovate. It means make sure your home is up to date. If you have outdated appliances – replace them. If your paint or wallpaper is ‘old’ update it. Make your home look as modern as possible to keep up its value.

Renovations aren’t necessary as they’re often expensive and have little ROI. Instead, keep up with the home’s upkeep and keep everything as modern as possible for the largest effect on your home’s value.

If you decide to do renovations, talk with an appraiser or real estate agent to see what type of ROI you’ll get before you invest in it. Don’t assume you’ll earn a dollar-for-dollar return.

Keep up with your Home’s Needs

If you keep up with what your home needs, you’ll maintain its value. Homes without proper upkeep end up with falling values, making it hard to catch up. Do what any homeowner should do and keep your home in good shape, replacing what’s broken or in poor condition and you’ll see appreciating values and a good return on your investment when you try to sell your home.