A great location -- Even in a tough housing market, the houses in desirable locations are selling. A buyer can always get a great house. She can't always get a great house in a great location.
Good homes surrounding it -- Good homes in the neighborhood will help boost the value of your house. Lesser homes will diminish the value of yours. Consider this when buying; you might want to resist the temptation to buy the best house in the neighborhood.
Buy single family -- A single family home is more attractive to a buyer than a condominium or a duplex. In a down market, the single family home will hold its value better.
Remodel with the market in mind -- If you're remodeling your house, it pays to use the materials with the most universal appeal. Investigate the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that are in demand in your area. Do the remodeling projects that offer the most bang for your buck, skipping trendy and focusing on traditional and durable.
Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.