New beginnings are important for Tim Plate and Curt Ratliff.

Buying or building a home is an essential life decision. Plate and Ratliff have more than 65 years of combined experience helping people make their home dreams come true.

That is why they started Nebraska Estate Homes, LCC, at 3010 W. Faidley Ave. in Grand Island.

Nebraska Estate Homes is a full-service real estate company, Plate said. His family has been in the Grand Island real estate business for more than 60 years.

Plate Realty was formerly located at 620 Webb Road. Plate said the company outgrew that site, and they moved to their present address last October.

“We had the opportunity to purchase Dr. Stec’s building (Stec Cosmetic & Family Dentistry),” Plate said. He said the new site was close to their Webb Road and Highway 281 location, which they wanted to maintain.

“Our staff has grown, and we needed the additional space to maintain our expanded scope efficiently,” Plate said.

Along with Plate and Ratliff, Jacque Keenan is the company’s design and development director, Jenny Levya serves as office manager, and Dianne Schulte is the bookkeeper.

With the move, Plate said it was an excellent time to change their company’s name.

Plate and Ratliff have designed their new office to be luxurious but inviting and comfortable for their customers and staff.

“We have more than doubled the office space square footage on the main floor,” Ratliff said. “We added a full basement beneath the addition to accommodate any future growth of ours. We also wanted to make the space attractive to any future buyer should we decide to sell.”

As a full-service real estate company, Nebraska Estate Homes lists clients’ homes for sale, assists clients in finding homes to purchase, designs and builds homes to meet their clients’ specifications, and develops residential subdivisions in which to build new homes.

“We enjoy meeting our clients’ needs whether buying, selling, or building a home,” Plate said.

The business also owns, manages and maintains about 150 rental units of varying sizes for rent.

Plate is a Grand Island native. He graduated from Grand Island Senior High School in 1971. He majored in marketing and management and earned a business administration degree from Creighton University. He returned to Grand Island and joined his father, Rudy Plate, in the family’s real estate business, which was launched in 1957.

Over the years in Grand Island, Plate’s reputation earned him the title of “Mr. Real Estate.” “I have enjoyed working with people whether listing their homes for sale or assisting them in finding their dream home to purchase,” he said.

As an experienced Grand Island realtor, Plate began developing residential real estate properties. He said he wanted to turn vacant lots into personal homes for his clients. “The design work and everything else became an integral part of my real estate business.”

Ratliff, an Omaha native, joined Plate in the real estate business in 1998. “At first, I was just working with Tim in the development aspect of the business we were doing,” he said.

Plate encouraged his partner to become a licensed realtor so he could sell real estate, which Ratliff did in 2000.

Both Plate and Ratliff said real estate is a “people business.” Buying or building a home is one of the most significant financial

investment a person or family makes in their lives, they said, and that is why developing a relationship of trust with the client is essential.

“You have to find out what their needs and wants are,” Plate said. “Then with that information in mind, direct them to what they are financially capable of doing.”

That experience led Plate and Ratliff to begin customizing homes to their client’s expectations.

“We are building homes from the ground up,” Plate said. “We are finding out what they want. We are designing the floor plans for them and working with them to pick out all the details to come up with their retirement home.”

For more information about Nebraska Estate Homes, either call (308) 381-2021 or visit its website at

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