The housing downturn has got a lot of people asking ‘When will home prices recover?’ According to this study from The Federal Housing Finance Agency, it could be awhile. Tracking real estate busts since 1975 found that price declines typically play out over a course of three years and nine months. A recovery, on the other hand, takes almost twice as long — six years and eight months.

Given that it’s not clear if we are at the bottom or are in recovery mode, the best advice would be to sit tight, not worry about it too much and see what can be fixed around the home. Here are five easy home improvement projects with big returns:

  • Make your home more energy efficient: Adding energy efficient products can result in a payoff 20 times the original investment.
  • Fix the flooring: Many realtors recommend updating your home’s flooring to improve a home’s resale value. Get started by entering our Lumber Liquidators Fall Giveaway for up to $4999 in free Bellawood hardwood floors.
  • Paint the home neutral colors: According to this article, neutral colors make a home look better in online photographs, a key method in selling a home.
  • Increase your home’s curb appeal with good landscaping – landscaping your property can increase a home’s value by as much as 15% according to this article.
  • Invest in the kitchen – kitchen remodels are still paying off in today’s down market, according to this post.

Credit: MSN Money article