I own a house and live in what is often pejoratively refereed to as "the hood" (14th most dangerous hood in America according to a recent study). I bought the house because it was cheap and I had just gotten out of college and didn't want to stretch myself; ten years later and the house needs some work.
The chimney needs to be repaired and I have estimates of about $2500. My other option is to add air conditioning to the house and in the process replace the furnace removing the need for the chimney. The air conditioning will cost about 8.5k to do. My first idea was to get the house appraised and see if any of the renovations made sense, but there I hesitate. In an area such as mine are valuations trust worthy since other factors will obviously play into a potential buyers mind, or is the process smart enough to take in such ethereal aspects of location.
Also given I live in an urban area, similar houses to mine 1 mile away are in a very trendy section of town and worth quite a bit more making me worry my valuation will be inflated.