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Wichita Falls Real Estate Blog

Ashton Gustafson


Displaying blog entries 371-379 of 379

Wichita Falls MLS Home Search

by Ashton Gustaphson

FREE service to help area home buyers find their dream home. Your first email will list all homes currently for sale that meet your search criteria. Then each morning you will be emailed a list of all of the new homes for sale and price changes since your previous search. No more having to rely on manual searches. Fill out the form below and start your auto-email home search today! It's just that easy! The detailed information you want (WITHOUT HAVING TO SPEAK WITH AN AGENT!)


Housing Act May Help Some Struggling Texomans - Ashton On The News

by Ashton Gustaphson Click to watch Ashton's News Story

Reported by: Erica Rosales
Friday, Aug 1, 2008 @06:32pm CST

 It's being regarded as one of the most significant housing bills in decades.

With more than $300 billion being invested to stabilize a shaky market, some Texoma housing professionals say it can only help.

Ashton Gustafson

Bishop Group realtor associate
"Home values here are very, very affordable and for a first time home buyer it makes this new house bill very promising."

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 offers a tax credit to first time home buyers of up to $7,500. The credit is essentially an interest-free loan that buyers will repay to the government over a 15-year period.

Ashton Gustafson

Bishop Group realtor associate
"There's been numerous first time home buyer incentives over the past few years but we haven't seen anything like this."

The bulk of the money in the act aims at helping folks who already own their homes but who are on the brink of foreclosure. Some home owners will be allowed to refinance into fixed-rate loans insured by the federal government. But Debra Clements, owner of Argocie Mortgage, says the measure limits help to some of the people who need the most help.

Debra Clements

Argocie Mortgage President
"You're gonna have to come up with looser guidelines. You can't just sit here and say OK well, we're gonna give all this money to this bill but you've gotta have a perfect credit score."

Housing professionals agree that there are a lot of gray areas in the bill that they'll have to help people sort out before they can find out if they'll qualify for assistance, but they say right now any bit helps.

Debra Clements

Argocie Mortgage President
"There's a lot of people that are hurting right now in a lot of areas of their lives and mortgage is just one part, but I think any help we get is good."

For more specific details on the bill you can visit the Bishop Group website at or you can find an overview and full text of the act at



Facing Foreclosure in Wichita Falls?

by Ashton Gustaphson

Are you facing foreclosure in Wichita Falls?

You May Have A Better Way Out!

There are countless hardships that can turn home ownership from a joy into a burden.  The loss of a job, medical bills, or an unexpected hike in monthly payments can all make a mortgage unaffordable.  But ignoring the bills will not make them go away, it will only make things worse.

If you need help, there are approaches that can help, but you may not be familiar with them.  One of these is a "short sale."

In an approved short sale, the lender agrees to accept less than is owed for the property, and the homeowner is relieved of the debt.  A lender may be willing to do this because it spares a lot of hassle and expense involved in executing a foreclosure.  And typically, a short sale does far less damage to the homeowner's credit than a foreclosure does.

If you would like to explore the possibility of a short sale for your property, avoid foreclosure, and potentially save your credit rating, please send me your contact information, address, current lender, and information about your home. I will then be in touch within 24 hours to discuss your options at this time.


Go to for help in this matter.

Ashton Gustafson - The Bishop Group - 940.691.7355 -


Save Thousands - Wichita Falls Home Buyers

by Ashton Gustaphson

Purchasing a home can save you money very quickly. FIRST, you'll save on taxes because the interest on your home mortgage is tax deductible. If you rent, your landlord gets the break.

SECOND, you'll save on interest payments while keeping the great tax advantage.

Image: What Ever Home Buyer Should Know

For example if you are paying $900 per month in rent, you are paying a portion of this towards your landlord's property taxes and mortgage loan interest. Your landlord can write this amount off. You derive absolutely no tax break. When you own a home, you now reduce your taxes for the mortgage interest and for your property taxes. Your interest is always the highest during the early years of your loan, so your overall write-off is largest during these early years.

Paying rent is like throwing your money out the car window each month. You pay it out and never see it again. With home ownership you receive loan interest write-off, and gain money over the years from the increased value of your home. Over a ten year period, on an initial purchase price of $100,000, you could gain over $100,000 in tax advantages and appreciation based on an 8% mortgage interest rate and 5% per year increase in home values.

On both the 15 year and 30 year loans, your interest deduction is highest in the first few years of the loan, so your tax deduction is highest then, too. Remember, if you plan to move or refinance after 5 years, you will maximize your tax deductions. Keep in mind that as you pre-pay part of your loan to reduce the interest expense, you also reduce your tax deduction. How long you plan to keep your current mortgage loan can help determine which type of loan, and which payment strategy, is ideal for you.

Have questions? Give me a call. I am happy to help.

WFISD Earns State's Highest Award - Wichita Falls

by Ashton Gustaphson

Wichita Falls ISD Earns State's Highest Fiscal Accountability Rating for Sixth Year  

Wichita Falls Independent School District officials announced that the district received a rating of "Superior Achievement" under Texas' Schools FIRST financial accountability rating system, the sixth year in a row at the highest rating. The Superior Achievement rating is the state's highest, demonstrating the quality of Wichita Falls ISD's financial management and reporting system.   This is the sixth year of Schools FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas), a financial accountability system for Texas school districts developed by the Texas Education Agency in response to Senate Bill 218 of the 77th Texas Legislature in 2001. The District has received a "Superior Achievement" every year. The primary goal of Schools FIRST is to achieve quality performance in the management of school districts' financial resources, a goal made more significant due to the complexity of accounting associated with Texas' school finance system. The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to manage their financial resources better in order to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes. 


Text "ASHTON" TO 47464 - Wichita Falls

by Ashton Gustaphson

I have now introduced a new system for buyers to utilize while driving and looking at homes. If you pass a listing that I have in Wichita Falls, you can simply text message "ASHTON" to 47464 with your cellular phone and have the criteria of the home sent to your home as well as photos. This is a great feature and another simple set in the modern approach of buying and selling real estate.

August MLS Statistics - Wichita Falls

by Ashton Gustaphson

I have said numerous times how fortunate we are to live in Texas at these times. Total sales volume for the Wichita Falls MLS were $25,943,968. When you compare this to August 'O7 ($24,163,809), you will see that we were actually up 7%!!!! If you are considering buying or selling Real Estate at this time, please give me a call or email me at

And don't forget about the new sites - - For Buyers

or for Sellers.

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Ashton Gustaphson

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates go up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

New $7,500 Tax Credit for First Time Buyers

by Ashton Gustaphson

The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 was just signed by President Bush with some amazing benefits for first time homebuyers. Call everyone you know who wants to buy their first home (or who hasn't owned one in three years), this is too good to miss - it's a $7,500 tax CREDIT (not deduction but a credit).

If you have not owned a home in three years, you qualify as a first time home buyer. If you buy a home after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009, you qualify for this credit. Call your friends who just bought a home since April 9th and tell them they may take $7,500 off their tax bill if they qualify. It has to be your principal residence, so rentals do not count.

The tax credit is 10% of the cost of the home, up to a maximum of $7,500. This is not an additional deduction that lowers the amount of income to be taxed, it is a tax credit. In other words, you take $7,500 off your tax bill. But there is a catch; the credit you receive now is actually an interest-free loan that must be repaid.

The loan has no interest, and will be paid back over 15 years. You get the credit on your 2008 taxes, but you start paying it back on your 2010 taxes that are due in 2011, so you get at least two years without a payment. You pay back 6.67% of the credit each year, so for a $7,500 credit the payment is $502.50 per year. If you stay put for 15 years, you pay it off with no interest.

What happens if you sell the house? You pay the balance back at the closing. So, you get $7,500 now, and pay the rest of it back if you make money on the sale of your house. What happens if you do not make enough money when you sell your house? They forgive the rest of the debt.

Other restrictions stipulate that you have to buy your first house in three years before July 1, 2009, not have super high income, not use bond financing and buy anywhere in the US.

If you'd like to learn more about this program, please call me!

Displaying blog entries 371-379 of 379

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