You Can Save Your Home's Value

You can use tax and financing tricks to make the slide in house values far less depressing.

California homeowner Dana Frank is resisting the temptation to sell her three houses near Los Angeles, worth $2 million altogether. Values around L.A. are shrinking, and Frank is haunted by the memory of the state's last housing slump in the early 1990s.

She watched it grind down her Ukrainian immigrant parents and rob them of their prized 3,000-square-foot home in a fancy suburb north of the city. They'd borrowed too much and were missing mortgage payments by the time they sold in 1997 for a price roughly equal to the $550,000 they owed on it--and less than half its 2007 value, Frank po