Real Estate Information

Morse Real Estate Blog

Mike Morse


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 47

2019 County and State Fairs

by Morse Real Estate

As a Midwesterner, our hearts can be easily warmed by the smell of smoked turkey legs, freshly fried corn dogs, and anything else that is served on a stick! July and August are always filled to the brim with local county and state fairs that provide guests with tasty treats, thrilling concerts, deadly demolition derbies, exciting rodeo riding, and smoke-filled tractor pulls. Here is a list of 12 upcoming county and state fairs in Iowa and Nebraska that just cannot be beat and must not be missed in 2019! If we skipped one, please comment below!

2019 County and State Fairs

Mills County Fair – July 11 – 16 -  Malvern, Iowa - 61317 315th St, Malvern, IA 51551

Douglas County Fair – July 11 - 14 - Multiple Locations – Free Parking and Shuttle at METRO COMMUNITY COLLEGE, ELKHORN (829 N. 2014th St. Elkhorn, NE 68022) to both Village Pointe (17305 Davenport - Omaha, NE 68118) AND Chance Ridge( 829 N. 2014th St. Elkhorn, NE 68022 (506 Skyline Rd., Elkhorn, NE 68022)

Pottawattamie County Fair - July 18 – 21  – Avoca, Iowa – 307 W Lincoln St, Avoca, IA 51521

Harrison County Fair – July 23-27 - Missouri Valley, Iowa - 1200 W Huron St, Missouri Valley, IA 51555

West Fair – July 25 – 28 - Council Bluffs, Iowa - 22984 US-6, Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Otoe County Fair – July 25 – 28 – Syracuse, Nebraska - 1st St & Plum St, Syracuse, NE 68446

Saunders County Fair – July 28 – August 4 – Wahoo, Nebraska - 635 E 1st Street, Wahoo, NE 68066

Sarpy County Fair – July 31 - August 4 - Springfield, Nebraska - 100 Main St, Springfield, NE 68059

Lancaster County Super Fair – August 1 – August 10 – Lincoln, NE - 4100 N. 84th Street, Lincoln NE 68507

Cass County Fair – August 6 – 10th – Weeping Water, Nebraska - 8420 144th Street, Weeping Water, NE 68463

Iowa State Fair – August 8 – 18 – Des Moines, Iowa - 3000 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50317
Iowa State Fair Map:

Nebraska State – August 23 – September 2 – Grand Island, NE - 700 E Stolley Park Road, Grand Island, NE, 68801

Have a safe and fun-filled fair season!

Omaha Area Fireworks Shows

by Morse Real Estate

Omaha metro residents love the smell of black powder and the sparkle of lights that fireworks bring. Families gather together to grill, relax, and celebrate our country’s freedoms while lighting off fireworks. Another way to celebrate Independence Day 2019 in Omaha, Papillion, Bellevue, Council Bluffs, and the surrounding areas is to watch the large, local fireworks shows. Morse Real Estate has put together a list of local Omaha metro fireworks displays to make it easy to catch them all.

The City of Omaha Celebrates America Free Concert & Fireworks Show with Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul w/ Chris Isaak
Dates: June 28, 2019
Location: Memorial Park, 6005 Underwood Ave., Omaha, NE 68132
Times: 6:00 PM to 10:15 PM
Admission: Free
More Info: Get ready to rock the park! Little Steven (Steven Van Zandt) will headline, with co-headliner Chris Isaak also performing. Local cover band The Firm will open the show. Stick around for the fantastic fireworks finale set for 10pm. The concert was originally canceled, but it was brought back with the help of an anonymous donor.

College Home Run Derby & Fireworks
Dates: June 29, 2019
Location: 1200 Mike Fahey St., Omaha, NE 68102
Times: Starting: 7:00 PM
Admission: $10+
More Info: Watch college baseball's premier power hitters show off their skills during the Home Run Derby, live on ESPN. Stay for the fireworks! Visit website for all the details.

Lake Manawa Fireworks
Dates: June 29, 2019
Location: 1100 S Shore Dr., Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Times: 9pm
Admission: Free
More Info: Watch Lake Manawa's largest fireworks display yet over the lake at dusk.

Omaha Storm Chasers Game with Fireworks
Dates: July 4, 2019
Location: 12356 Ballpark Way, Papillion, NE 68046
Times: Starting: 7:05 PM
Admission: $9-$21/Free for Kids 2 & Under
More Info: Bring the family for a night of fun at the ballpark as the Omaha Storm Chasers take on the Nashville Sounds. The night will end with a spectacular Independence Day fireworks show to USA-themed music!

Ralston's 59th Annual Independence Day Celebration with Fireworks
Dates: July 4, 2019
Location: Downtown Ralston
Times: From: 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Admission: Free
More Info: Bring the family for a slice of Americana complete with music, food, and more. Check out Nebraska's largest parade on Wednesday, along with a fireworks spectacular to cap off the night.

All of our agents wish you a safe and happy fourth of July!

Local Father's Day Events

by Mike Morse

Father’s Day is a special time to celebrate the dads in your life that have made a difference and it falls on Sunday, June 16th this year. Here are some ways to celebrate locally in the Council Bluffs and Omaha area this week.

Council Bluffs Farmer’s Market

Start the fun off early with the Council Bluffs Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, June 13th from 4:30pm-7:30pm. They are set-up at Bayliss Park and will have a giveaway for dads and extra vendors to help you find the perfect gift. Plus, they always have live music, kid’s activities and some great vendors. Enjoy the night at the park!

College World Series Fan Fest

Starting June 14th, the official Fan Fest begins and hosts giveaways, live music, interactive games and much more! Head to Lot C and Mike Fahey Street in Omaha for the fun. Visit their website for the schedule:

First Annual SAC Museum Car Show

Take dad to this indoor car show that lasts two days! Don’t miss the opening ceremony on Saturday, June 15th at noon that begins with a parachute jump performance. He could even register his car as part of the exclusive show! Visit the website for tickets and information:


Give your favorite dad the gift of fun in the sun as fathers will get free admission to Fun-Plex located in Omaha on Sunday, June 16th! You can check out their new attraction called Rockin’ Rapids and enjoy the fun from noon to 8PM. Visit their site for more information:

Sky Zone Omaha

Every dad will jump for joy on Father’s Day at Sky Zone Omaha when they get in free! Jump with them from noon to 6PM. Visit their site the more details:

The Mark

Roll over to The Mark located in Elkhorn for a good ol’ fashioned bowling competition! Dad’s get to bowl for free on Sunday, June 17th and there are ribeye and prime rib specials to take advantage of. If you haven’t been to The Mark – go! It is a great place to take the family. Visit their site for more information and discounts:

Lincoln Children’s Zoo

Take your dad to the Lincoln Children’s Zoo on June 16th where he can get in free and enjoy watching the animals and checking out their new expansion project that opened May 10th. Visit their site for details:

We wish you a very happy Father's Day!


Iowa Homestead Tax Credit

by Mike Morse
Iowa Homestead Tax Credit filing deadline is fast approaching!
New homeowners in Iowa are encouraged at the closing table to file for the Iowa Homestead Tax Credit as soon as possible. This program was originally adopted by the state to encourage home ownership through property tax relief. It also protects the homeowner from certain debts being attached to their property as a lien. Homeowners are eligible for the exemption if they own and occupy the property as their primary residence and if they declare residency in Iowa for income tax purposes. They must also occupy the property for a minimum of 6 months annually. Owners in the military or nursing homes who do not occupy the home are also eligible. 
The current credit is equal to the actual tax levy on the first $4,850 of actual value which translates to an average of $50-$200 savings per year on property taxes.
Homeowners that would like to file for this exemption may fill out this form and submit it to the county prior to July 1 and only have to file once during a lifetime of ownership as long as it continues to qualify or the property is sold or transferred. People signing up will also be required to certify that a smoke detector has been, or will be installed in the home.
Pottawattamie county homeowners may submit the forms:
Stopping by in person:
Pottawattamie County Assessor
227 S 6th St. Ste 257
Council Bluffs, IA
Mailing it in:
Pottawattamie County Assessor
PO Box 1076
Council Bluffs, IA 51502
E-mailing it to:
If you have questions about filing or would like to speak to one of our expert agents, send us a message

Morse Real Estate's New Office

by Morse Real Estate

Morse Real Estate is excited to announce the opening of a new office in central Council Bluffs, Iowa. This facility is located on the busy corner of West Broadway and S. 7th Street, just one block northwest from Bayliss Park

Morse Real Estate was established in 2010 by Council Bluffs native, Mike Morse. After a successful 20-year career in residential and commercial real estate, Mike launched the brokerage. Over the past 9 years, it has continued to grow as a family-owned and operated virtual brokerage.

“Our agents have been working at our virtual brokerage for years and have helped thousands of people make a move. They have either worked from home or a remote office and have met clients wherever was convenient for the client.” Mike said. 

After years of successfully operating the virtual brokerage, the number of agents began to grow. Getting a physical office was the next step to providing a larger community presence and increasing resources for Morse Real Estate agents.

“We were on the lookout for a central location that would be easy for our busy clients and active agents. We found the perfect place and received keys in the beginning of February. After gaining access, our family pulled together to plan out the office and take on the challenge of the remodel. It was worth the effort.” Mike said.

The work space features modern technology in a comfortable setting to allow agents to focus all day or simply stop by to write contracts. The design of the space was inspired by a 3D rendering that his daughter and office manager, Christy Rhoades, drafted. The space is fresh, airy, and contemporary.

“Our REALTORs are so mobile that most work from their cars, home offices or coffee shops. However, in this fast-paced market, agents really have to manage everything even quicker and on the go. This new office allows them to do that seamlessly.” Mike said. “Since opening, I have had clients come for consultations and they comment about how clean and beautiful the space is. We couldn’t be more excited for the future of our service to the local community.”

Morse Real Estate hosted an agent open house on April 4. The agents were able to walk through the space and see it and celebrate with Mike and his family.

(From left to right: Mike R. Morse, Shannon Snipes, Christy Rhoades, Mike Kent, Abby Tietsort, Mike Morse, Deb Peraza)

(Capre Kennett)
(Eric Mace)

During the remodel, Nebraska and Iowa experienced some of the worst flooding witnessed in recent history. Since opening, Morse Real Estate has seen an increase in the need for professional advice and guidance in the local real estate market.

“With all of the flooding recently, our agents have received so many calls from families that have had to move out of places like Pacific Junction, Glenwood, and Bartlett. It’s heartbreaking. As agents, we want to help them find somewhere to live and do it quickly. I have never seen so many people displaced locally. Iowa and Nebraska needs to continue pulling together and help each other out.”

With the opening of the new office in Council Bluffs, Morse Real Estate and its agents will continue to service residential and commercial real estate clients in the Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa metro area. Consultation appointments can be made by calling the office at 712-435-1900 or by contacting one of the expert agents directly at


Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

by Christy Rhoades

Fall is here! With days officially dropping to jacket-weather temperatures, it is time to remember all of the items needed to make your home ready for winter. Let’s make it easy and get ahead of Jack Frost with this fall home maintenance checklist.
Exterior Items
Winterize your grill by giving it one final, deep clean and covering burners and other metal parts with cooking oil to prevent rust. Also, shut off your gas and put a protective cover over the whole unit.
Seal up exterior cracks and gaps in siding, windows or foundation with caulking or weather stripping.
Take advantage of the low humidity weather and paint your home or stain and seal your deck.
Clean your gutters and make sure they are secure.
Bring any glue, liquid weed killer, paints, stains, finishes and spray cans inside so they do not freeze.
Store outdoor decorations and furniture or at least cover it up to extend the life.
Hook up seasonal batteries for boats or small vehicles to a battery maintainer.
Fix any cracks in the driveway to keep moisture from getting in to freeze, expand and make them bigger.
Aerate, fertilize and reseed your yard.
Have your sprinkler system drained and blown out.
Winterize your lawn mower by removing all fuel or filling up the tank and adding fuel conditioner and running it for a couple minutes so it can circulate.
Empty your flower pots and planters. Bring any clay or ceramic containers inside.
Drain all garden hoses and sprinklers and store. Also turn off water to all exterior hose bibs and drain pipes.
Trim back trees and bushes and remove dead branches from to keep them from falling once weighted with heavy snow.
Rake your leaves and shred them for compost, mulch or on top of flower beds as a winter blanket for your garden.
Divide or move perennials and remove any dead annuals.
Mulch perennials after the first hard freeze and do not cover the center point (crown) to avoid rotting.
Clean garden tools before storing.
If you have been feeding birds from your yard, be sure to stock up on bird food to continue feeding them this winter.
Mark the perimeter of your driveway and sidewalk by pounding in driveway markers for easier snow removal.
Get your snowblower ready for service.
Make sure you have a snow shovel that is in good shape.
Grab a bag of pet and plant safe ice melt from the store.
Interior Items
Change the direction your ceiling fans spin so they can circulate the warm air down toward the floor.
Wrap any water pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape or insulation to save energy and prevent freezing.
Replace the furnace filter or consider having your HVAC system maintained by a professional.
Remove any window AC units or cover the entire exterior to keep cold air out.
Clean out your dryer vents and remove lint.
Check attic insulation is at the proper level and doesn’t cover vents in the eaves to prevent winter ice dams on the roof.
Check bird and rodent screens for attic vents to prevent any unwanted guests.
Schedule a chimney cleaning.
Have your home tested for radon since windows are shut more in the fall and winter.
Change the batteries in your carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors.
Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace if needed.

Readying Your Home For Sale

by Morse Real Estate

Buyers want to find out everything there is about your home when purchasing it. Since it is a major investment, homebuyers want to inspect your property in it’s entirety while looking for any signs of damage. How can you prepare your home for the public eye? Here’s some great tips:

Thoroughly Clean the Home
Before allowing anyone into your home, you should have it thoroughly cleaned. This means dusting, vacuuming and taking out the trash. It may also mean taking steps to remove smoke or other odors from the air. If walls or other surfaces have mold on them, be sure to clean them prior to an open house. In addition to increasing the odds that someone makes an offer, taking the time to eliminate mold will go a long way toward reducing the risk of potential buyers getting sick.

Take Time to Stage the Home
Prospective buyers want to get an idea as to how a given space within a home can be used. For instance, they may want to see if there's enough room for their bed in the master bedroom or if there's enough room for the couch in the living room. If you have a finished attic or basement, be sure to showcase it as a space a buyer can make good use of.

Remove Potentially Offensive Items
When you show a house, you want to present a neutral look to potential buyers. This may mean getting rid of posters that make political or religious references. You may also want to hide items with sports logos, especially if you live in an area where rivalries are huge. By doing so, you will allow those who visit your home to imagine themselves living in the space without having anything to cloud their vision.

Make Necessary Repairs Before an Open House
If you're planning on making repairs prior to selling the home, do them before allowing anyone to see the space. For instance, you may want to repair the leaking water heater or replace shingles that have fallen off the roof as soon as possible. You should also make sure the garage door opens and closes properly and that all of the lights work.

If you want to sell your home in a timely manner, you must know how to prepare the space for public viewing. Making repairs, removing offensive items and properly staging the property may all increase the odds of selling your home.

By taking these steps before a showing, you may very well increase a buyer’s confidence that the home is worth putting an offer on.

REALTOR Ring Day 2017

by Morse Real Estate

This holiday season, over 100 REALTOR® associations will be supporting the Salvation Army on Friday, December 1. This idea came from a REALTOR® member in Fargo, N.D., who wanted to give real estate professionals an opportunity to support a cause familiar to them - housing. The Salvation Army was the perfect fit because it offers so many housing-related programs. This is the Iowa Association of Realtor’s sixth year participating in this great event joining over 26 other states ringing the bell for the Salvation Army.

Last year, more than 300 Iowa REALTORS® representing all 17 local boards participated in this event and raised more than $30,000. A few members of our team came out to volunteer. We had a lot of fun joking, singing and ringing!

The Difference An Hour Makes

by Morse Real Estate

Every Hour in the US Housing Market: 

  • 633 Homes Sell
  • 253 Homes Regain Positive Equity
  • Median Home Values Go Up $1.43

Your Home Just Got More Valuable

by Morse Real Estate

The National Association of Realtors just released a report covering the latest data on our national housing market. Many of the figures were staggering and surprising. The following charts summarize the biggest findings from the report.

Click to enlarge

Housing Supply Year-Over-Year: Last 12 Months: One of the more surprising data produced from National Association of Realtors was the giant leap in housing shortage from July to August. It showed that nationally we are experiencing an incredible 10% decrease in homes on the market. It could be reasoned that a lot of buyers scooped up a ton of inventory during the summer leaving August high and dry. This could also mean buyers are struggling to find their next dream home.

Click to enlarge

Seller Traffic By State: To breakdown the data and apply it to each state we can see just how many homes are listed for sale by state. Alaska, New Mexico, Maine and four other states are experiencing Very Strong seller traffic numbers which means there are more homes to choose from. However, Iowa and Nebraska and most of the nation do not share the same fate. Seller traffic is weak meaning that these housing markets are struggling and need more homes listed for sale.

Click to enlarge

Existing Home Prices Year-Over-Year by Region: Nationally sellers are receiving 5.1% more for their homes this year versus last year. However, sellers in the Midwest are receiving 5.5% more on average. 

Let’s break that down for our local real estate market:

Average home sold in Council Bluffs, Iowa since September 1: $145,615

On average, sellers are receiving $8,008 more this year versus last year

Average home sold in Omaha, Nebraska since September 1: $199,374

On average, sellers are receiving $10,965 more this year versus last year

By the way, homes are selling for more and much faster as opposed to last year, with many having multiple offers in less than 48 hours.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 47