Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 49

Watch Ashton and Denny's TV Show!

by Ashton Gustafson

You can find Ashton and Denny on KFDX Channel 3 every Sunday morning at 10:30 am!


How to Reduce Expenses By Going Green At Home

by Ashton Gustafson

Going green isn't just for environmentalists anymore ... it's for all homeowners who want to save thousands when building a new home or updating their current residence.

There are a variety of ways to make your home more energy efficient, from simply switching to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (saving about $30 or more in electricity costs over each bulb's lifetime), to installing solar panels (saving up to $2,500 on an average home's annual utility bill).

According to the Appraisal Institute, for every dollar saved on a property's utility bill, a home's appraised value increases about $20.

The following are green suggestions, along with the savings homeowners may incur in the process:

Lower utility bills. Appliances, insulation, windows and heating systems all have the ability to be energy efficient. By upgrading everyday appliances to energy efficient models, such as Energy Star, homeowners can expect a minimum of 10-15 percent savings on their electricity bills right away. What's more, tax credits are available at 30 percent of the cost, up to a $1,500 lifetime limit, for installation of these products in 2010 - for existing homes only: windows and doors, insulation, roofs (metal and asphalt), HVAC, water heaters (non-solar), and biomass stoves. Installation costs may even be included as part of the tax credit calculation for certain HVAC, water heater, and biomass stove installations.

Materials matter. Outside the home, recycled plastic lumber and wood composite materials reduce reliance on chemically treated lumber and durable hardwood for decks, porches, trim and fencing. Inside the home, when it comes to flooring, next to natural wood, greener flooring choices include low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) carpets for better indoor air quality, laminates that successfully mimic scarce hardwood, and linoleum, a natural product making a design comeback.

Control your environment. Install a programmable thermostat to set your heating and cooling equipment to automatically turn on or off to match your schedule and create a comfortable and energy-efficient living environment. These units typically offer savings of 10 to 15 percent and cost anywhere between $40 and $100.

Think outside of the box. Not all greening is done within the walls of the home. Thanks to the Wind, Solar, Geothermal and Fuel Cell Tax Credit (Tax Code Section 25D), tax credits are available at 30 percent of the cost, with no cap through 2016 (for existing homes and new construction) for Geothermal Heat Pumps (use the earth as a source of heat in the winter, or as a coolant in the summer), Solar Panels (use light energy from the sun to generate electricity), Solar Water Heaters, Small Wind Energy Systems, and Fuel Cells. More detailed information on Solar Energy can be found at the American Solar Energy Society

Conserve Water. This includes both inside and outside. Toilets, showers and faucets account for 60 percent of water usage in the home, according to the EPA. Green efficiency experts recommend that homeowners install low-flow showerheads, for example, which will save on water heating and use. Repair water leaks in tubs, showers and sinks. Replacing household appliances like dishwashers with more efficient models can save 11,000 gallons of water per year.

Lastly, when looking to upgrade your home, keep an eye out for the Manufacturer's Certification. This is a signed statement from the manufacturer certifying that the product or component qualifies for the tax credit. The IRS encourages manufacturers to provide these certifications on their website to facilitate identification of qualified products. Tax payers must keep a copy of the certification statement for their records, however, they do not have to submit a copy with their tax return.

As a Member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, I have a wealth of real estate and homeownership information that may be of help to you. Feel free to contact me any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.


Ashton Gustafson 
Bishop Realtor Group 
Office: 940-691-7355 
Mobile: 940-224-0881

Avoid The Top 10 Selling Mistakes With Your Home

by Ashton Gustafson


Serious about selling your home? Before you sign anything, read about these common mistakes that home sellers make:

1.     Pricing Too High: It's no secret, price is everything. Overpricing does more to discourage buyers than any other single factor. When you overprice, you put your home in competition with homes that may be newer, larger or have more amenities than yours. You help your competition sell their home. This leads to long days on the market, and costs you, the seller, money in the long run. Make sure you get your pricing advice from a professional agent who knows the market.

2.     Poor Condition: A home that is in ill repair, or otherwise poor condition, does not excite buyers. A home like this is looked at by buyers as a work project and money pit. Having your home in good repair and great showing condition will significantly improve your chances for a sale at top dollar value. Having your home pre-inspected by a termite and dry rot inspector will also have a positive impact on buyers.

3.     Poor Curb Appeal: Most buyers today want to drive by. If your home is an attractive drive-by, it will gain more attention and certainly more showings. Doing the little things to help your home's curb appeal will make a huge difference.

4.     Dreary Dark Homes Don't Sell: Buyers like updated, light and bright homes. Dark carpets, paint, and curtains are often buyer turn-offs. Go through your home and remove clutter; touch up and update paint, counter tops, and carpets. Open your home up and make sure the sun shines in. Offensive odors from pets and smoking are also huge turn-offs to most buyers. Rid your home of offensive smells by burning scented candles and create a pleasant aroma. The most important rooms to concentrate on are the living room, family room, kitchen and master bedroom. Your entire home's atmosphere is set off by these rooms.

5.     Don't Over-improve: Get your home in good showing condition, but don't over do it. Huge projects such as complete remodels of kitchens, adding decks, and expanding room sizes may not pay back your investment. Before you jump into a huge improvement project, get some good advice.

6.     Be Financeable: Bad roofs, exterior paint, or structural problems may make your home un-financeable. The wider the scope of financing that your home can qualify for, the higher the overall market value. Remember -- government programs like VA and FHA will be the most picky.

7.     Get Good Advice and Good Market Exposure: Hiring a professional agent will help you get your home priced right, and will also get you started with the best fix ups. A strong agent will get your home exposed to the largest number of potential buyers. Paying the agent fee is often the least expensive part of selling your home. Trying to sell your home yourself can be costly. Most 'for sale by owner' homes close for less than comparable homes listed with an agent, and you have no representation.

8.     Don't Be Present During Showings: When your home is being shown, go for a drive or a walk. Take yourself, your family, and pets and let the agent and their clients have the freedom they need. An agent can always do their best job of showing your home when you are not underfoot. Buyers are more at ease and much more likely to spend time looking at your home's features and benefits.

9.     Let Your Agent Do the Negotiating: If there is ever a good reason to have a veteran agent working for you, it's during the negotiation of your home sale. A good negotiator can mean thousands of dollars to you, and will protect your interests. Don't let your emotions run wild during negotiations. Try to separate your emotions from your business side. Remain cool and calm during this time.

10.   Act Fast With Offers: When you do get an offer on your home, act quickly and decisively. Letting offers sit around without acting can be a huge mistake. Things can change quickly in the mind of a prospective buyer. Acting quickly while the excitement and interest level are at a high point can be very important. Typically, a buyer's motivation level decreases with time. Buyers' remorse can even set in. Acting in a timely manner is essential.

November Real Estate Podcast is Up

by Ashton Gustafson

Ashton Gustafson of The Bishop Team presents:

This month's edition covers Greater Wichita Falls real estate market activity and then we'll share tips to prepare your home for winter and protect against factors that cause mold.

Summertime has arrived in Wichita Falls

by Ashton Gustafson

Good Monday morning to you!

The Heat Is On

Can you believe the heat? Ever thought about owning a home with a pool? If so, check out Here you can find every home in our market that is available for sale with a pool. Check it out!

Market Facts

Our office remains at the forefront of our market for closed transactions year to date. While we are one of the smaller offices in the market (in terms of number of agents) we currently rank #1 year to date in volume closed. If you are thinking about selling, please see We look forward at the chance to serve you further.

Pod Cast

Check out this month's pod cast at This month's edition covers Greater Wichita Falls real estate market activity and then we'll explain how buyers can make the most of favorable summer conditions.

If I can do anything else for you or anyone you may know this week, please let me know.

"Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too." Steven Pressfield

The Best Wichita Falls Real Estate Web Sites

by Ashton Gustafson

Ashton Gustafson has made it his practice to be at the forefront of technology in the Real Estate sector for Wichita Falls and North Texas. See below for all your Real Estate needs. - Total market overview. - The BEST Site for Active Buyers. - Thinking of selling? - Looking to invest? Listen to the market update on you iPod! - Daily email list of the new luxury homes on the market. - All of our office listings.

Ashton's May Real Estate Pod Cast is Up

by Ashton Gustafson 

This month's edition covers Greater Wichita Falls real estate market activity and then we'll discuss the art of staging. 

Features special guest Terri Murphy of US Learning. 

March Wichita Falls Numbers are Posted

by Ashton Gustafson

Good morning to you!

The Market

In the last 70 days, we here at the Bishop Realtor Group have put over 70 properties in contract. While we feel the market is still moving very well for our office, the overall market does have varying levels of sluggish price points. Below are the stats from the Wichita Falls Association of Realtors on what SOLD in March of 2011. As always, $120,000 price point was the winner. As long as rates continue to stay where they are at, we look for a very strong Summer run in the market.

Thinking of Selling?

Ever wonder what homes have sold for in your neighborhood? Thinking of selling this Summer? See - I will have a market analysis to you within 48 hours.

Thinking of Buying?

3 years ago I launched what has turned into the #1 web-site for buyers looking in our market. Check out for every home available within your criteria. Here you can request more information or even set up at a time to view any property available for sale.

The Word on the Street

Our clients have spoken. If you are thinking about participating in any way in the Real Estate market, I encourage you to check out

Ashton's Thought of the Week

Go. Start. Create. In whatever you do or find passion in - go. We need more imagination, more creating, and and more starters in the world. And may you and yours enjoy a peaceful Easter weekend.

Current Wichita Falls Real Estate Trends

by Ashton Gustafson

Good Monday morning to you!

When the discussion of Real Estate comes up, everyone wants to point the finger a hundred different ways to explain why the market is or is not performing.

In all reality, there are just a few places to look for answers:
- Jobs
- Recent Sales Activity
- Inventory
- Mortgage Availability

Let's look at these on a local level...

Jobs - I attended the Wichita Falls Economic Forum this week, and found that Wichita Falls had actually created quite a few new jobs this year. Those new jobs and, of course, the jobs provided by Sheppard Air Force Base
give me great hope for the rest of 2011. A huge THANK YOU goes to our local business owners and Board of Commerce and Industry to keeping jobs in North Texas.

Recent Sales Activity - We have put a home in contract nearly every day this year, and we are up 40% YTD (last year was our firm's best year ever). The market is moving indeed, but PRICE is calling the shots. Which leads me to...

Inventory - We are at record levels of inventory at all price levels. Some of our market price ranges have over 12 months of inventory. See,

Mortgage Availability - I often hear that it is difficult to get a loan. This puzzles me. My personal stats show that I am qualifying over 90% of the clients that come my way looking to buy. Mortgage rates have never been this low, and we have plenty of happy buyers getting loans. See,

If I can answer any further questions or serve anyone you may know this week, please let me know.

"What would our world look like if more people started projects, made a ruckus, and took risks?" Seth Godin

March Wichita Falls Real Estate Pod Cast

by Ashton Gustafson

This month's edition covers Greater Wichita Falls real estate market activity and then we promote the value of a CMA.

Features special guest Terri Murphy of US Learning.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 49

Contact Information

Photo of Ashton Gustafson Real Estate
Ashton Gustafson
The Bishop Realtor Group
1916 N. Elmwood Ave.
Wichita Falls TX 76308
Office: 940-691-7355
Fax: 940-691-7363