Home values continue modest gains
Home values in many areas of the United States have just about recovered back to pre-recession levels by now, or getting closer to it. If you live in the Denver metro area, values have even exceeded all-time highs to reach new records.
Now that values have returned to near peak levels, the timing is great to cash in on your home's value by refinancing with a better loan-to-value ratio. As the economy gradually strengthens, U.S. consumer outlook is also increasing, meaning there's no guarantee how long interest rates will remain low. In addition, gas prices are also dropping, as they typically do in the fall, which is expected to further boost the economy.
Looking at the bigger picture, the rise in home values is still growing, but U.S. home prices moved upward just 0.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014. Looking back at growth from 2013 to 2014, though, values in Case-Shiller's 20-city composite jumped 8.1 percent.
For comparison's sake, compare your neighborhood's median home value with the highest county in each state on this map compiled by Business Insider. It's a good reminder that value is nearly all relative to location and is never promised to stay the same next year.