With the price of houses falling across the nation, SmartMoney has released five tips for boosting the price of your home in the short and long term. While now is not the time to go into debt for remodeling projects, it is a good time to carefully consider which remodeling project will provide the best long-term payoff. The five tips:

1. Don’t be a nonconformist. You don’t want the biggest or nicest house in the neighborhood. Look to fit in with your neighbors’ aesthetic.

2. Go green. With the price of energy going up, energy-saving projects offer some of the best returns.

3. Spread the word about the good things about your neighborhood. Home buyers are overwhelmingly turning to the Internet for advice on prospective areas to live. Go online to boast about your neighborhood.

4. Do small upkeep projects on a regular basis. Buyers expect a $2 discount for every dollar of damage discovered during a home inspection.

5. With more contractors looking for work, the price of their services is going down. While that’s good news, the bad news is homeowners need to be careful about picking the best contractor for the job. Make sure the contractor has the skills to do the job.

Credit: Boost Your Home’s Value in a Down Market