According to a Federal Reserve Bank report published in 2002 thirty-five percent, the biggest share, of home equity loan dollars goes back into the borrowers house through home improvements and maintenance projects. Considering the benefits and the ease of leveraging the equity you already have through a second mortgage or mortgage refinancing, this is hardly a surprise. ”The cake itself is the equity, and that is the important part of ownership,” Richard Wakelin, of Wakelin Property Advisory. If you are smart about building equity you can earn it even faster and with less investment. Some of the best ways to increase equity are simple such as:1. Buying a home in the right neighborhood is critical. If the real estate values are rising, you could build equity without doing anything more than holding on to the property.2. Curb appeal is key to raising a home’s value. It doesn’t take much money to install irrigation and landscape a property, but the first impression from the outside can be worth a lot. If you have some equity in your property already, a home equity credit line may be a better way to fund these smaller improvements than using a credit card. The interest is lower and so are the payments.3. Remodel the kitchen if you really want to increase the value. Buyers are willing to pay more for a home with a gorgeous cook-friendly kitchen. If you are looking to do a remodel, mortgage refinancing is a good way to cash out on the equity that you already have and invest in building further equity. (Likely with a tax break on the interest as well.)4. Master bedroom and bathroom improvements are also a good way to increase equity and can also be paid for through a refinance.5. Don’t forget small improvements with “sweat equity” either. Just a little bit of capital and a lot of muscle can greatly improve a home through painting, wall papering and other do-it-yourself upgrades.A little bit thought and effort can go a long way in making your property your best investment!