Bakah, I interpret your question to be one of where you could get the most home for your money and not necessarily how to get the most for your existing home...??? Am I correct? My answer will be based on that interpretation and I would say that It's not so much as "WHERE" you buy, but 'HOW" you buy that will make all the difference. I have said many times here, and I will continue to express the view that I don't believe you can buy a pre-existing home for what I would consider to be a fair price.
On guy cautioned you as to the responses you may get yet he used the words "return on investment" in his response in regards to your home. There is no true "return on investment" on a owner-occupied, mortgaged home. Thats word trickery that the IRS has used to justify taxing people for selling their homes, because otherwise, legally, such a sale is not classified as "income". But if you call the property an "investment" you place it in another category, one that we really don't want it in to begin with. I'm sure, however, that the guy did not know that because most people don't.
A domicile is not an investment of any type, even if its market value has increased over the years and you sell it for more than you borrowed. If you have a loan amount of $180k, a 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 6.250%, and you live in that home only 5 years, you would have to sell that home for the $180k + $56k (interest paid) just to break even. Thats $236 needed to walk away even, and that's not likely to happen.
Check out Owner/Builder Programs, but don't let them talk you into taking out an LTV loan. You will get the most "bang for [your] buck" this way. And if you can't find an Owner/Builder Program that does not require you to take out the LTV loan in order to be approved for the home, contact me, I'll help you get that home.
I hope this was helpful to you.