Three tips to maintain or improve the value of your Los Angeles home

Purchasing a home is a major investment, and it's every homeowner's nightmare that the value of their house might disappear long before they're ready to sell. In an unstable market, it's often difficult to know if you're getting a good deal on a home - and being forced to sell for less than the purchasing price is a big hit to anyone's finances.

Thankfully, you're not entirely at the mercy of luck and market forces when it comes to making sure your investment in a home pays off. There are plenty of things you can do to help your house maintain its value, whether you live it in for just a few years or raise your whole family there. Here are a few tips to make sure you select wisely - and keep your investment's value for years to come.

Know the neighborhood
As the old adage goes, the three most important things in real estate are location, location and location. When it comes to your home, you can change almost anything about its structure, color, landscaping and design, but you can't move the location. So if you want to be sure your home will hold its value, be sure to pick a neighborhood with a sterling reputation that'll only improve as the years go on. The easiest way to ensure a good investment is to pick a venerable and trusted neighborhood with great schools, a safe environment and other responsible homeowners.

For those willing to take on a slightly riskier investment, a gentrifying neighborhood could be a good choice. If you can get a great deal on a home in a neighborhood that's on the upswing, the investment could pay off massively in a few years. However, not every promising neighborhood lives up to its potential, so do your research.

Go ahead and renovate
Renovating is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to inject value into a home. With a little elbow grease and some good old-fashioned determination, you can give your home an updated kitchen, a new bathroom, a finished basement and countless other improvements - and often add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your property in the process.

Whether you do it yourself or call in the pros, renovating has many benefits. Not only do you get to live in a more comfortable home, potential buyers will love the improvements when it comes time to sell.

Sweat the small stuff
Chips in your paint or wilted flowers in the backyard may not seem like much of an issue to you, but these little problems can put big dents in the value of your home. Potential homebuyers pay attention to even the tiniest details, so you can save yourself heaps of trouble by taking care of small things before they begin to eat away at the value of your home.