Some of you may not know this about me but I am a Hudson Valley homeowner. Over the years I have owned a few different homes. It started back in 1991 with a house in Cornwall, then a place on the south side of Poughkeepsie and finally my current house in New Paltz.

I have always enjoyed owning where I live but I will admit the mortgage process can be a bit exhausting. That is probably why it has taken me until now to think about refinancing my house. There are a million reasons not to but then I keep hearing about great interest rates. So, I told myself I was doing it this year.

What was holding me back?

One of the reasons I dragged my feet was because I need to do a few things around the house. I never updated the kitchen, I never put in a generator, the main bathroom needed a facelift and I definitely need gutters. I kept thinking I would fix things up and then get in on a lower interest rate.

What changed my mind?

I never got to any of the projects done and now some of them are bigger than my budget. After this last weekend's rain, I definitely need gutters. I also can't keep watching interest rates go down and think I missed the boat. With house values up in the Hudson Valley and interest rates low all my smart money friends are asking me, what I am waiting for? So I took the plunge and so far so good. The goal now is to refinance and possibly get some money for the other projects.

So what should you do to improve your appraisal if your house is a bit of a fixer-upper?

Fix the worst problem - I got the bathroom facelift.

photo by pq

Then the rest of the stuff you can do is pretty simple. HGTV has some ideas but I say basically declutter and clean. The last thing you want to do is be one of those houses that no one wants to spend time in, including the bank appraiser. Obviously, I am not an expert but I think the list I came up with definitely helped my house value.

Quick Tip to Improve Your House

If you are thinking of refinancing your house it is important that you show off it's best qualities. If your house isn't exactly in it's best shape I have a few suggestions that might help get you a few more dollars added to the value even though they don't really have anything to do with the price of your house.

77-Acre Mountain Retreat in Western Ulster County

This 77-acre mountain top retreat in Napanoch offers seclusion with unmatched views. At an elevation of 2100 feet you will truly feel as though you are on top of the world. 13 buildings make up this one of its kind compound with a main house, guest house and even a pool house with full kitchen, bathrooms and lounge with fireplace. Western Ulster County offers some of New York State's best trails and towns. You will be just far enough from away from everything if you own this artist-designed estate. Not far from some of the Hudson Valley's favorite places you will half the best of both worlds on this self-sustaining property.