In a sign that the U.S. housing market is recovering, home prices rose for the second straight month in May, according to an industry report issued Today.
Home prices climbed 2.2% compared with a month earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index. Prices are still off 0.7% compared with May 2011, but that's the lowest year-over-year decline in 18 months, according to David Blitzer, a spokesman for S&P.
Talk to local Realtors about the market in your area. Have home prices gone up, down or stayed the same? Are there certain areas that are seeing more activity than others?
Realtors can also help you with tips to sellers in how to prepare their home to be sold. What are some inexpensive ways they can spruce things up inside and out?
Even if the market is up, compare housing prices in your area to what they were in 2000, 2006 and 2008. Could make a nice graphic.
Find out how the local housing market has affected taxes. Some cities might be suffering from lower tax collections.