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Morse Real Estate Blog

Mike Morse


Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 42

Families in Business

by Christy Rhoades

This week our brokerage was featured in the “Families in Business” write-up in the Daily Nonpareil, a publication serving Council Bluffs and southwestern Iowa. Mike, my father and owner of the company, received a call asking if he wanted to be interviewed for the newspaper. We were very excited to be thought of since we are very much a ‘family in business’ and have been since 2011. During a very busy week, my father, my brother and I were able to get an updated portrait from A Better Exposure out of Omaha. Getting all three of us together at the same time seems to be getting more challenging as the months pass but somehow we were able to make it all to the appointment.

Some families are not able to work well together, but luckily we have found a groove where each of us are able to utilize our past experiences to grow the business. Our current agents are amazing and we cannot wait to see what the future holds!

Click the article to enlarge and read it. Share it with someone who would like to buy or sell now or in the future.

Here is another photo taken that day (click to enlarge):

What do you think? Which is your favorite?

Written by Christy Rhoades

How Many Homes Sold in 7 Days?

by Morse Real Estate

Since March 21, the market has picked up substantially in both Omaha and Council Bluffs areas.

What Does This Mean For Buyers?

There is a lot of competition out there right now for your dream home. Prices are going to continue to climb, act now before you are priced out of your future home.

What Does This Mean For Sellers?

If you are on the fence about listing your home for sale and debating whether now is the time to move on with your plans of relocating… don't wait!

There are more buyers that are ready, willing and able to buy their first, second, third, or investment property now than there has been in years! The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with the demand of these buyers.

Listing your home for sale now will give you the most exposure to buyers and the best sales price.

Here are the statistics for the last 7 days:

Homes that sold in the Omaha area: 194 Homes

Average home price: $200,175

Homes that sold in the Council Bluffs area: 29 Homes

Average home price: $129,143

To find out more about what your home is worth, contact one of our experienced agents today!


5 Fall Staging Ideas for Your Listing

by Morse Real Estate

Here are some great ideas to update your listing and add some pizzazz during these cozy fall months to entice buyers to stay a little longer.

1. Add in some fall scents. Smells of apple pie, pumpkin and cinnamon, and leaves all can offer up buyers a cozy, warm feel for fall. Try scented candles or melted wax in warmers.

2. Lighten up. With shorter days, be sure to take advantage of the natural light as much as you can by opening the drapes and blinds. You may also need to add more light in with floor and tabletop lamps.

3. Rake the leaves. The leaves will soon be falling and great curb appeal is important for your listing. Rake up leaves and be sure to trim back any overgrown or dead plants. Also, trim trees and hedges to make sure they are not overshadowing the home’s windows or porches.

4. Decorate with mums. Some pots of orange or gold chrysanthemums can instantly brighten up a porch and deck – they’re cheap and hardy too. Also, pumpkins can add a seasonal touch and pops of color to the outside too – just be sure to not overdo it.

5. Show off the fireplace. If the listing has a fireplace, make sure it’s clean and highlighted. You probably don’t want it turned on during showings and left unattended. But you can highlight it with décor, like a simple vase of pinecones, on the mantle or hearth. During an open house, when a real estate professional is present, you may want to have the crackling fire on to add to the home’s coziness this fall.

5 Fast Stats for August

by Morse Real Estate

The month of August is officially behind us and September has begun. That means it is time to look at 5 interesting details for the month of August!

1. Cheapest home sold in Omaha
Not even bank-owned, this property sold for only $16,500 in 3 days. Seller paid cash for this vacant 2 bedroom ranch with appliances included and hardwood floors.

2. Most expensive home sold in Omaha
Have you ever wanted your own tennis court? You could have bought a home with a private one outside AND a basketball/sports court inside the lower level. It featured over 9,200 square feet, portico, 5 car garage, large office, game room, rec room, and all for $1,225,000. It was only on the market for 48 days. Don't forget the $26,636 due annually for taxes.

3. Cheapest home sold in southwest Iowa
A bank owned, bargain selling for just $10,600 in Mondamin. This ranch had 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, half an acre of land and was in need of serious TLC.

4. Most expensive home sold in southwest Iowa
For $433,000, you could have owned a custom ranch on just under a 1/2 an acre at Fox Run in Council Bluffs. It featured TWO master suites, 4,400+ square feet, 3 fireplaces, a full second kitchen and a waterfront view.

5. Number of homes and condos sold
There were 1,302 homes and condos sold in southeastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa in the month of August. That is a lot of paperwork!

Which part of the real estate transaction makes you the most curious? Let us know.


Statistics for July 2015

by Morse Real Estate

Market Statistics for July 2015

See the charts below for the most up-to-date market statistics for southwest Iowa.

The southwest Iowa market statistics for July are impressive. As you can see in the first chart, homes are selling nearly twice as fast this year in July than compared to last year! A home in this area is averaging only 48 days on the market. That is a fast sale especially for the Midwest.

The second chart shows us that July of 2015 was a record breaking month when it comes to how quickly homes are selling. Making it the fastest turn around since at least July of 2012. All of this data represents a seller's market full of fast-moving and ready buyers!

A summary of the city specific data above shows the average number of days a Council Bluffs home was on the market in July was 41.9 days and 38.8 days for homes in Glenwood. Homes in Carter Lake and Crescent are selling in under 34 days!

The median sales price for the entire market has increased this year by nearly $7,000 which is great news for most homeowners in the area. It means that their real estate investment is increasing. Council Bluffs homes saw an average increase of over $17,000 in their sales price. Overall, Glenwood actually saw a decrease from last year of over $14,000.

A lot of factors are in play in the market which affect the average sales price. Be sure to speak with one of our knowledgeable Realtors to get specific information regarding your property and needs.

Data sourced from Iowa Association of Realtors


National Garage Sale Day: August 8

by Morse Real Estate

National Garage Sale Day 2015

You’ve almost finished sifting through those long-abandoned knickknacks — er, treasures — in the basement, right? Are the signs all ready to go? How about the price tags?

Surely, you haven’t forgotten that National Garage Sale Day is this Saturday.

Yep, on Aug. 8th — National Garage Sale Day is always the second Saturday in August — we celebrate the coming together of those with belongings they no longer want and those with a want for belongings they don’t have.

Make no mistake: Garage sales are big business — even if the average selling price of goods at such events is a mere 85 cents.

Take 85 cents here and 85cents there, and, pretty soon, you have $4,222,375. That’s the total revenue that U.S. garage sales generate each week, according to the website

Make sure you pay attention these important tips:

Cash: Keep a bunch of coins and small denomination bills handy. You never want to lose a sale simply because you cannot break a $5 bill.

Advertise: Ads should be placed in local newspapers and on websites five or six days before the sale. Neighborhood signs should be eye-catching, simple and, above all, readable. Use words like, "HUGE SALE" with an arrow.

Scheduling: Schedule your garage sale to coincide with a local event that’s likely to generate extra traffic near your home.

Item Placement: Place the items with the broadest appeal close to the street to grab attention and lure potential buyers up the driveway.

Clothing: Sort clothing into categories — by gender, season and age group, for example — and display those items, if possible, on hangers.

Mirrors: Keep a mirror handy if you’re selling accessories.

Power Up: Place fresh batteries in items that require them and keep a power source handy so shoppers can try out electronics and other plug-in appliances.

Refreshments: Sell cookies, bottles of water or lemonade at your sale to keep people refreshed so they stay longer.

Finally, don’t forget what follows National Garage Sale Day by just six days: National Thrift Shop Day.

What is the best bargain you ever got at a garage sale?

Mall of the Bluffs Still for Sale

by Morse Real Estate

Mall of the Bluffs Still for Sale

The Mall of the Bluffs has been a staple of the Council Bluffs community since it was built in 1986 along Madison Avenue near the Interstate 80 interchange. The 491,988-square-foot mall was the hot spot for shopping in the area for many years until competition from new shopping destinations appeared in the last decade.

It was set to be auctioned off this past Monday at noon through Wednesday at noon. The opening bid was set at $1.5 million dollars and bidding reached $4.5 million but did not go any further. It did not reach the secret reserve limit set by the auction company. Due to this, the current owners will continue to search for a buyer.

If you had to money to shell out for the property, what would you do with it?


5 Fast Stats for July

by Morse Real Estate

5 Fast Stats for July

The month of July is officially behind us and August has begun. That means it is time to look at 5 interesting details for the month of July!

1. Cheapest home sold in Omaha
A vacant ranch was on the market for 16 days and sold for a only $9,000 and it wasn't even bank owned! Not surprisingly the new owner paid cash.

2. Most expensive home sold in Omaha
A 7,112 square foot beauty sold for $1,950,000. It came complete with its own outdoor pool, 7 fireplaces, and a "ladies boudoir." You would have had to acted quickly to make this one home because it sold in only 4 days!

3. Cheapest home sold in southwest Iowa
This home was for sale via HUD and sold for $12,510 after being on the market for 53 days. It had over 1300 square feet and was a 1.5 story bargain.

4. Most expensive home sold in southwest Iowa
For a whopping $850,000, you could have purchased a ranch on 20 acres with scenic views, a chef's dream kitchen and your very own barn.

5. Number of homes and condos sold
There were 1,769 homes and condos sold in southeastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa in the month of July. That is a lot of moving boxes!

Which part of the real estate transaction makes you the most curious? Let us know.

5 Things to add Curb Appeal! #3 is interesting

by Morse Real Estate

When it comes time to sell your home, very clean and updated kitchens and baths are very important and can go a long way.  But what about the outside?  People see the outside before they come in and see your kitchens and bathrooms, so adding curb appeal to your home is essential for those first impressions.   Here are five things you can do to improve your curb appeal from

Landscaping goes a long way. In the spring plant colorful flowers or think about planting small shrubs or trees.  Speak with the gardening department at your local home improvement store to see what your options are for the Omaha/Council Bluffs climate.

Power washing and window cleaning. If the paint on your house looks poor consider getting it re-painted.  If the paint is good, but it hasn't been power washed in over five years, a good power washing will improve the looks and brighten up the exterior of your home. The same goes for your windows! If you are especially handy, you may be able to complete the job yourself with the right equipment.

Replace shutters and/or the front door. The return on investment of replacing your front door is one of the highest when it comes to remodeling projects. A dated front door makes a house look cheap, and a worn front door makes a house uncared for or old. You can replace the shutters or front door of your house as a DIY project, greatly reducing your costs.

Resurface your driveway. When you sell your home, a paved driveway will appeal to buyers.  A cracked up driveway can also potentially affect their ability to get certain financing.  Smooth out your blacktop or asphalt so it looks polished for future showings.

Clean or sand the deck. Prospective buyers will remember the expansive feel that a wide deck provides." Keep your deck clean and in tip-top shape. If it looks rough, it could ratchet down the interest of a prospective homebuyer.  They will see it as a big project they'll have to tackle instead of something they could enjoy right away.

With any remodeling project, and especially if you are remodeling in the interest of selling your home, you need to weigh the investment against the predicted range of return on your investment. If your home hasn't had a face-lift in years or is particularly dated or old, these little projects can go a long way toward the sale of your home.

Have you tackled any of these before yourself?  Let us know below!

Council Bluffs Area School Supply Lists

by Mike Morse

Council Bluffs and Omaha area stores are stocking up their shelves in preparation for back to school sales. Here is a list of the elementary school supply lists to see what you need to pack into your children's back pack this year. Click a school below to grab the list you need.

Bloomer Elementary
Carter Lake Elementary
College View Elementary
Crescent Elementary
Edison Elementary
Franklin Elementary
Hoover Elementary
Lewis & Clark Elementary
Longfellow Elementary
Roosevelt Elementary
Rue Elementary

Where are your go-to places to shop for your school supplies in Council Bluffs or Omaha?

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 42