Value in your house: Recession-proof your home

Rising food and gas prices are leaving American homeowners with less money to spend and more concerns about the future. As some homeowners lose credit lines due to a loss of equity, some are looking for ways to stretch a dollar or increase the value of a home.

The perfect place to start may be your insurance. "People have a lot of opportunities to reduce their homeowners insurance premium if they invested in certain equipment and protective services in their house," says Peter Spicer of Chubb Insurance. And, well, now is a good time to see if you can save money and place your money elsewhere.

You might think about starting with an alarm. Not only can safety save you from physical harm, it can also offer monetary savings. Did you know that your premium can dip by as much as 20% if you install a sophisticated sprinkler system, and a fire and burglar alarm system that rings directly to a monitor station, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

What other tips are there for recession proofing your home? Home renovations or maintenance that don't cost you an arm and a leg. Think: Curb appeal. "Within the first 30 seconds, people are passing judgment on your house," says Dan Dunleavy, CEO at Fix to Flip. That means a little attention to details like landscaping should be a priority if you're looking to sell or maintain the value of your home. You can do it yourself or search Craiglist listings for landscapers.

Don't forget tips for the inside of your home. The first step in recession proofing a home should be reducing the amount of money you shell out each month, which can then be followed by improvements that cost you next to nothing, and keep your home value up. Of course, where your home is located plays a significant role in how effective recession proofing your home will be.

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