Whether you're ready to sell or settled in for the long haul, knowing your home's value gives you peace of mind.

Home value can be a fickle thing. It's affected by a lot of different factors, some that you can control and some that you can't. But the more you know, the better off you'll be.

It's no secret that a house in need of repairs will fetch less than one in great condition. And you know that stockpiled rubble does market value no favors at all. But some of the elements used to determine property value might surprise you.

Here are three problems that might slip in and detract from the value of your home:

Foreclosures and short sales can have the same effect on a neighborhood.

Short Sales Hurt the Neighborhood

A lot of foreclosures in the neighborhood is a bad sign that the economy isn't what it should be. But short sales can have the same effect as a foreclosure, according to real estate agent, Nadine Cius. When a home owner can't make mortgage payments, the lender can foreclose on the property, which allows them to recover possession and evict the person living there. The house can then hit the market with the bank listed as the owner, or it can sell at auction. A short sale is like a foreclosure in disguise.

In some cases of loan default, the bank will accept a reduced amount to repay the debt in full. That's a short sale. Some home owners take this route when offered because it's not quite as damaging to credit scores. It might look like any other sale to the neighborhood, because it's initiated by the owner and usually carried out with the help of a real estate agent. But in reality, it's a deal with the bank to sell the house on the cheap to clear the debt.

Licensed contractors know how to avoid code violations that you might not be aware of.

DIY Projects Aren't Always Good

Thanks to DIY home improvement shows, a new generation of empowered do-it-yourselfers has developed over the past several years. It's a great feeling to tackle a project on your own. But feeling empowered and possessing the right skill set are sometimes two very different things. There are plenty of contractors who've discovered unsafe conditions and large-scale property damage because a home owner didn't know that a small alteration could result in code violations and reduced home value.

Home staging consultant Barbara Pitcher, explains for ReMax that DIY projects can easily go pear shaped. Most people can paint a wall. But if you've never worked hands-on with a project before, consider hiring a pro. Home improvement shouldn't be viewed as a large-scale craft project, especially when building codes govern most of the projects you'd take on.

Sometimes Assessors Get it Wrong

A property assessor determines the assessed value of homes in a neighborhood. Your property taxes are based on this value. But the assessment isn't in-depth, and once in a while they get it wrong. These are usually mistakes that you can correct with an appeal to the assessor's office, according to reporter Becky Johnson for the Smoky Mountain News, but you have to know about errors first.

This is one of many ways eppraisal can help you not only learn the estimated value of your home but also spot inconsistencies. If your home has been assessed with errors, you could see them on your home value estimation. Maybe you have a swimming pool that's not listed, or the square footage is significantly different from what's being reported. An appeal takes time so the sooner you know about problems, the better off you'll be.

The home value estimate that you get from eppraisal can help you spot problems early. Maybe you're not planning to sell your house now, but it's a major investment. You owe it to yourself to know all that you can about what it's worth and what's trending in the community. This information can help shape your decisions now and well into the future.

Click here for your free property valuation through eppraisal today.