MFLCares about Tori’s Angels

Julie Dent-Zajicek, left, and Jackie Wicks accept $1500 on behalf of Tori’s Angels. Tori’s Angels is the MFLCares featured charity for June.

If someone told 5-year-old Tori Heckman and her parents back in 2010, that Tori’s dire health situation would have a profound impact on 1000s of people, they likely would have thought they were crazy. But that’s exactly what happened!

As an infant, Tori was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition. She needed special doctors in Boston to perform her surgery. As you can imagine, this was going to place financial strain on her family. A local church stepped in to help, and Tori’s Angels Foundation was born.

This non-profit under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, is named for the community “angels” who generously supported Tori.  Tori’s Angels raises funds to support the families of children who have life-threatening medical conditions. Since 2011, they have made a life-changing impact on over 100 families, and 1000s of people. Check out their kids!

Below are some pretty amazing details about this incredible foundation:

  1. Tori’s Angels pays for all (ALL) medical related expenses not covered by insurance. This includes co-pays, deductibles, and prescriptions medicine. Also included are travel expense, hotel, and food during hospital stays and doctor visits.
  2. Medical billing goes directly to Tori’s Angels. Families don’t have to navigate being the “middle-man”. This is a huge stress relief to their families.
  3. Children are supported from their day of acceptance through their 19th birthday.
  4. The foundation has no employees, pays no salaries, and is completely run by volunteers.  100% of event donations go directly to help sponsored children, with no fees withheld. That’s impressive!
  5. Their Facebook page is amazing! Here you can stay up to date on the kids and families.

Tori’s Angels Foundation is very appreciative of the generosity shown by their donors and supporters. There are a number of ways you can help:

  1. Spread the word! Share information about Tori’s Angels with your family, friends, co-workers, or anyone with children living with a life-threatening medical condition.
  2. Donate! It’s as easy as clicking the link.
  3. Join or organize an event.
  4. Donate your time and talent at fundraising events.
  5. Follow their Facebook page, stay updated on their families, and pray for their strength and healing.

MFLCares about Tori’s Angels

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MFLCares about Time Missions

Marti Myer presents a $1,500 donation to Dawn Frederiksen and Rick Lee from TIME Missions. Marti nominated TIME Missions as Midwest Family Lending’s MFLCares May charity.

Our Midwest Family Lending team continues to learn about amazing Iowa charities. Some of these organizations have local impact, some reach out across the US, and others extend beyond our nations border. Thank you to Marti Myer for bringing TIME Missions to our team so we could learn about a charity that is making a positive difference across the globe!

Marti Myer, processor for Midwest Family Lending, was introduced to TIME Mission by her cousin, Dawn Fredriksen. She nominated this foundation because she wanted to learn more about how their missions are making a difference around the world.  “I was impressed with TIME Missions because they provide an opportunity for all ages to share the word of God through their mission trips,” says Marti. “It’s awesome that during these trips they create relationships with locals by assisting in building structures, providing school supplies, etc. I wanted to learn more, and wanted our team to hear about the amazing things they do.”

TIME Missions organizes and facilitates mission trips serving communities in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Cuba and Haiti.

If you’re a dentist or doctor, pastor or teacher, coach or athlete, or a person who simply wants to break bread with others around the world, TIME Missions is for you!  TIME handles all the necessary screening, coordinating and facilitating so that volunteers from Des Moines can have efficient and productive opportunity to serve others with the assets they have been given in their lives.

Midwest Family Lending Cares about TIME Missions!

“TIME’s mission to connect and construct community around the world will be greatly enhanced by this new partnership with Midwest Family Lending Corporation,” says Rick Lee, Director of TIME Missions. “As TIME continues to perform its purpose statement, a partnership with MFLC through MFLCares helps build our community here at the home office in Des Moines.  We are so thankful for this opportunity to come talk to the MFLC team, and the bonus of a financial gift shows they are intentional about community and put action behind words.”

MFLCares logo

Thank you, Rick for the kind words, and Marti for introducing TIME Missions to our team! We are impressed with the passion Rick and Dawn have for this ministry, and the impact they are making across the globe!

MFLCares about Time Missions

“This blessing from MFLCares will help supply a scholarship or an airline ticket for a local youth to go on a “first missions’ trip.”  Our partnerships with other non-profits around Des Moines and Iowa give the dollars from MFLCares the ability to change cultural perspective and enhance more than one person’s life both here in Des Moines and across oceans.”

Rick Lee, Director TIME Missions.
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Should You Hire a Professional Stager When Selling Your Home?

One of the intimidating things about putting your home on the market is the knowledge that total strangers will soon be traipsing through your house judging every part of it. Even if you are a Marie Kondo-level cleaner and organizer, you may wonder if your home will look good enough to draw the best possible price.

Home stagers understand your fear, and they’re here to help. They bring an impartial view to your house and see it through the eyes of a buyer. With services that range from simple decluttering and room organization to transforming the home with rental furniture and new décor, staging companies provide expert service when it comes to real estate marketing. And statistics show how much this can impact the home selling experience. Consider this:

This is why many sellers see home staging as a sound investment, and why it’s worth learning more about the process.

What Staging Is (and Isn’t)

Home stagers use design and organization to maximize your home’s appeal to potential buyers. This may involve painting walls, rearranging furniture, and moving excess belongings to storage to create more space. (For example, reducing the number of clothes in a closet makes the closet look significantly bigger, and thus more appealing.) It also puts a strong emphasis on removing clutter and clearing surface areas to give the space a clean, organized look.

In some cases, stagers may advise moving out some (or all) of the furniture in a room and replacing it with rental furniture to enhance the look of the space. This isn’t a reflection of your decorating taste, though! A big, comfortable couch is essential to enjoying your family’s movie nights, but if the couch is out of proportion to the room, a homebuyer will feel like the space is too small.

A stager can help you find rental furniture that makes rooms look spacious and functional, and they may be able to lend you certain decorative items (like wall art or artificial plants) as part of their service. However, you would pay the cost of the rental furniture, storage space, and transportation of items.

The main goal of staging is to allows prospective buyers to visualize themselves living in your space. When done correctly, staging:

  • Makes rooms look bigger
  • Presents a clean, organized look
  • Enhances functionality of each room and showcases the potential of awkward spaces, like an under-stair closet or a narrow living room
  • Depersonalizes the home so the buyer can imagine how it will look with their furniture, artwork, and paint colors

What staging doesn’t do is to trick buyers about any aspects of the house. For example, stagers won’t place a washing machine where there’s no water hookups. But by bringing in specific furnishings, a stager can make even the most awkward space look attractive and functional. The final effect doesn’t look staged … it just looks like a place where everything fits together.

The Financial Bottom Line

Costs vary by location, market conditions, time of year, and level of service provided. According to HomeAdvisor, the typical range nationwide is between $770 and $2,863, with an average of $1,766. Many factors affect cost, including:

  • House size
  • Location
  • Whether your home is occupied
  • Furniture purchase or rental (if needed)
  • Repairs or cosmetic changes suggested by the stager, like painting

You can reduce costs by staging only certain high-profile rooms, like kitchens and living rooms, or by skipping renovations that the stager suggests. Consult with two or three companies (costs may range from $150 to $600 per consult), and compare prices and services to make sure you get the best deal.[2]

To Stage or Not to Stage?

Unfortunately, like most decisions, there’s no universal answer. Consider these factors, and feel free to ask your real estate professional about their experience and recommendations. There’s no right or wrong answer here … just what works for you and helps lessen your home selling stress!


  • Stagers are design pros who can help you arrange your furnishings (or rented/borrowed items) in a way that’s perfect for your home’s configuration.
  • You get an objective (and trained) eye to identify problem areas that may deter buyers.
  • Rented furniture may be in better condition or of higher quality than what you currently own, and it allows you to incorporate the most on-trend designs.
  • The staging process removes clutter and makes rooms look more spacious.
  • Staged homes look better in photos for online listings, which may increase showings and get the home sold faster.


  • The cost, both for staging and (if applicable) storage, must be paid out of pocket before your home sells and decreases your net profit.
  • Because you’ll need to move some belongings before staging, you’ll have to start packing sooner.
  • You’ll have to move belongings twice if you don’t have a new home yet.
  • If your current furniture is hiding any imperfections (like scratched flooring), staging might reveal them. That may create unplanned repair projects.
  • Staging adds an additional planning step that takes time. Your home may sell faster, but it may be delayed getting on the market.

Contact Midwest Family Lending with further questions. (515) 252-7107 or email


[1] National Association of Realtors®, “NAR Finds Home Staging Helps Buyers Visualize, Homes Sell Faster,” April 6, 2021.
[2] HomeAdvisor, “How Much Does Home Staging Cost?”, August 12, 2022.

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MFLCares about Autism Society of Iowa

Jacob Pleggenkuhle along with his dad, Jason, present a $1,500 donation to Kris Steinmetz and Erin Enyart from the Autism Society of Iowa. Jason nominated Autism Society of Iowa as Midwest Family Lending’s MFLCares April charity.

Chances are that most of us know someone, who in some way, is impacted by autism. Our teammate and friend, Jason Pleggenkuhle, Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator with Midwest Family Lending, has been directly impacted by autism. “Our son struggled with social emotional development. We discovered that he was on the autism spectrum when in elementary school,” says Jason. After he and his wife, Jacki took appropriate measures to make sure their son was getting the help and support he needed, they started seeing a huge difference in Jacob’s socialization with others. Jason nominated Autism Society of Iowa because they assist families in finding resources that help children develop and flourish.

“To be selected as an MFLCares Charity is a great privilege, and we were so pleased and surprised to receive the call from Jason Pleggenkuhl,” says Kris Steinmetz, Executive Director of Autism Society of Iowa.  “To be recognized and given the ability to share how we help those with Autism in Iowa is an honor, and we are very humbled to receive this award.”

You are very welcome Kris, but the thanks goes to YOU!

When you hear of the Autism Society of Iowa, you probably think of a pretty big organization with quite a few staff members. They are, after all, serving the ENTIRE state of Iowa by creating connections to empower everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully.  They exist to serve the Iowa Autism community through advocacy, community programming, and creating a more inclusive world.  That’s a pretty big mission! That should take a lot of people! Right? That’s what we thought!

We couldn’t have been more wrong! The Autism Society of Iowa has 2 staff members. You heard it, 2! Two! Deuce! Kris Steinmetz the Executive Director, and Erin Enyart, Treasurer and Co-Director. These two amazing ladies, who have both been personally impacted by autism in their families, run the entire show, along with a pretty impressive board.

Let’s see what they are doing!

Creating connections

They host zoom networking and support groups for adults with Autism, high school students, and parents and caregivers.  They provide the book Navigating Iowa’s System of Care:  A Caregivers Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders to families who have a newly diagnosed child.


They host educational opportunities, including educational conferences, lunch and learns, and an employment conference for adults with Autism.  They also co-host a conference each year with the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Autism Center. This year it will be on profound Autism.


The Autism Advocacy and Acceptance Day at the Iowa State Capitol is a wonderful event where they hand out shirts and have a rally with legislators. This is followed by an advocacy training session and opportunity for those in attendance to meet their legislators. 


They offer four college scholarships, family grants to pay for extracurricular activities, camps, or classes, and have a monthly newsletter that includes Autism specific information each month.

Providing opportunities

They rent local swimming pools for individuals with autism, their families and caregivers, so they can swim without the distractions of a typical swimming environment.

To say the least, we couldn’t be more impressed with the Autism Society of Iowa! They are making a difference in the lives of those impacted by autism. Did we mention they do all this with TWO PEOPLE! In addition, 93% of their budget goes back into the community. Dang! It’s hard not to want to jump in and help!

Thank you Kris, Erin, and your Board Members! Thank you for educating us! Thank you for making lives better!

Thanks to Autism Society of Iowa, and the many organizations they work with, kids and adults with autism can flourish in this world. They can succeed. In the words of Jason, “the Autism Society of Iowa helps families find resources like the ones we used for helping children develop and flourish. We are so proud of our son who has successfully graduated from high school and earned Liberal Arts and Animation degrees. Our son is smart, loving, talented, and has so much to offer the world – just like others with autism and autism disorders.” 

MFLCares about Autism Society of Iowa!

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MFLCares about Team RunFree

Midwest Family Lending’s Mark Engleman, right, presents Kevin Hircock founder of Team RunFree with a $1,500 donation through the MFLCares program.

Adel, Iowa – You will be hard pressed to find anything more heartwarming than watching a navigator push a captain in a road race. There are few things more inspiring than seeing a blind athlete run alongside a guide runner. Thanks to Kevin Hircock and his foundation Team RunFree, touching and inspiring scenes like this can be found throughout the road race circuit in Central Iowa.

“Adaptive running is not common in most communities throughout the U.S. That is the case in Iowa as well,” says Kevin Hircock, founder of Team RunFree. “Largely, the special needs community is very underserved in this area.”

May be an image of 3 people, people standing and outdoors

Inspired by Dick Hoyt, who pushed his quadriplegic son in races ranging from 5K to Ironman, Kevin had a vision of enabling those with physical disabilities here in Central Iowa to experience the sights, sounds, motion and excitement of running. In 2015 that vision came to life for some Central Iowa individuals who are now getting to experience the thrills of running, and the empowerment that comes with completing a road race.

“Team RunFree is 100% volunteer driven and 100% reliant on donations,” noted Kevin. “We pay all race expenses for those with special needs, and as we grow, the financial need increases. Just being considered for a financial gift is heartwarming, and we greatly appreciate those who partner with us financially.  Our true passion is to share our story and our heart with others. We want to inspire others to use their talents, abilities and passion to impact lives in powerful ways.”

You can support this wonderful cause! Click here!

May be an image of 8 people, people standing and outdoors

MFLCares about Team RunFree!

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending team members nominate a charity or cause that is meaningful to them. Mark Engleman, licensed Mortgage Loan Originator for Midwest Family Lending was made aware of Team RunFree through updates Kevin gave at their local church. Mark nominated Team RunFree because he was inspired by their story.

“Team RunFree reminded me of the Dick Hoyt story.  Dick ran several marathons and Iron man races while pushing his quadriplegic son,” says Mark. “I’ve always found this to be such an amazing story. Team Run Free is accomplishing the same thing, providing the excitement and exhilaration of running/competing in a race to those who can never do so on their own. I feel to be able to help with their mission is an absolute privilege!

To learn more about Team RunFree, see photos and be inspired, visit their website or facebook page!

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending, a local mortgage company committed to creating customers for life and making positive community impact. MFLCares supports and promotes Central Iowa charities. Check out the MFLCares calendar to learn about the incredible organizations who are making a positive impact in our communities!

Running is a great activity. When shared with others, it’s even better. When shared with those who cannot run on their own – well, that’s when the magic happens.

Kevin Hircock, Founder Team Runfree
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5 Ways Owning a Home Builds Wealth

Home is where the heart is, but it can also be where the money is. History has consistently shown that owning a home is linked to building wealth, with one study by the Federal Reserve showing that U.S. homeowners have a median net worth more than 40 times greater than renters.* Let’s explore how owning a home can provide a valuable financial safety net.

What is Wealth?

Unfortunately, for most of us, wealth is not a Scrooge-McDuck-style vault of gold coins we can dive into. (Which is okay, because it seems like that would really hurt.) In personal finance, wealth is simply defined as the value of all your assets. To measure it, you start with the market value of all of your physical and financial assets (homes, cars, retirement accounts, bank accounts, etc.) and then subtract all your debts.

In this light, wealth isn’t the privilege of the super-rich … it’s just the financial goal of having more assets than debts. Over the long term, it means accumulating enough assets (wealth) to ensure that you can meet your life goals of education, travel, raising a family, retiring, or any other desire you might have.

So where does homeownership come in?

Building Wealth Starts at Home

Owning a home offers advantages that can help anyone build wealth. Of course, without a crystal ball, it’s impossible to know exactly what your home purchase will do for you long term, but there are some consistent historical indicators of how homeownership relates to wealth.

1. Stable housing payments. Apartment and home rents tend to go up over time, and if you move around a lot, you can’t predict what your housing costs will be down the road. In general, your mortgage payments stay consistent over the life of the loan, although there may be some variations when property tax rates or insurance costs change, or if you enter a new term of an adjustable-rate loan. This predictability helps you know how much you can comfortably invest in other wealth-building vehicles, like a retirement plan.

2. Home appreciation. While the housing market can be unpredictable in the short term, it has historically yielded solid results in the long term. On average, American homes usually double in value every 10 to 20 years, and in some locations, they increase much faster.

3. Tax advantages. If you itemize your taxes, you may be able to deduct the mortgage interest and property taxes you pay (up to a certain limit), as well as private mortgage insurance (PMI). You may also qualify for tax credits if you’re a first-time homebuyer or if you make energy-efficient improvements to your house.

4. A hedge against inflation. In the simplest terms, inflation occurs when the cost of living goes up faster than wages. When inflation goes up, the cost of everything increases — including housing. If you have locked in an interest rate on a home, then you don’t have to worry about rising housing costs, whether that’s in the form of higher rent or increasing home prices. And, since you’re investing money into an asset that typically appreciates over time, you’re putting your money to work for you.

5. Equity. Equity is the difference between what you owe on your house and what it’s worth. We’ve talked about how houses typically appreciate (go up in value) over time, so it stands to reason that as you pay off your mortgage, your equity goes up. This can potentially be a big payoff when you eventually sell your house!

The Big Takeaway

When you combine the advantages above, you can arrive at a common theme that’s also the foundation of financial planning advice: Pay yourself first. Building wealth takes consistent investments over time, and homeownership provides the structure to do just that.

Wondering about more ways owning a home — as a primary residence or an investment property — can help you build wealth? Reach out to us at 515-252-7107 or

*Survey of Consumer Finances, September 2020

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MFLCares about Count the Kicks

Count the Kicks is the MFLCares featured charity for February.
Colleen Dougherty, Annual Giving & Events Coordinator for Healthy Birth Day, Inc.
accepts a check from Emily Barber, Licensed Loan Originator with Midwest Family Lending.

“It takes a community to help save babies, and we are honored to be selected as a MFLCares charity this month,” stated Kimberly Isburg, Communications Specialist for Healthy Birth Day, Inc. “The support of local businesses like Midwest Family Lending Corp and supporters like Emily Barber make a powerful impact on our mission to improve birth outcomes and save babies through the Count the Kicks campaign.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending teammates have the opportunity to nominate a charity they’d like to support. Emily Barber , Licensed Home Loan Originator with Midwest Family Lending, nominated Count the Kicks.

“I chose Count the Kicks because in my previous career as an ultrasound tech, I saw the unfortunate side that not every pregnancy ends with a happy, healthy baby,” says Emily.  “Seeing what Count the Kicks is doing to help expecting mothers become empowered in advocating for their baby confidently is such a game changer.  They are not only saving the lives of babies, but impacting all of the lives that touch that baby.”

Healthy Birth Day, Inc.

Healthy Birth Day, Inc. was founded by five Central Iowa moms who all lost daughters to stillbirth or infant death in the early 2000s. “After losing their daughters, our founders decided to channel their grief into stillbirth prevention efforts to keep other families from facing the pain of losing a baby,” stated Kimberly Isburg, Communications Specialist for Healthy Birth Day, Inc. “Their efforts created the evidence-based Count the Kicks public health campaign, which launched in Iowa in 2008. In the first 10 years of Count the Kicks in Iowa, the state’s stillbirth rate has gone down 32% while rates in the rest of the country remained relatively stagnant.”

Stillbirth, which is defined as the loss of a pregnancy at 20 weeks or greater gestation, is a public health crisis that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every year in the U.S. approximately 22,300 babies are born still, and 1 in every 173 pregnancies ends in stillbirth according to the CDC. A disproportionate number of babies are born still to Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Black, and American Indian or Alaska Native families.  

Starting in their third trimester, pregnant moms can track daily movement of their baby. The free ‘Count the Kicks’ app provides an easy way to count kicks, jabs, or rolls and times how long it takes to get to 10. This creates a data set and shows normal prenatal activity. Moms can quickly see their baby’s normal movement pattern helping them identify if the movement pattern has changed. Moms should contact their health provider if they notice a change. This simple method of tracking movement has made a difference between life or death of many babies. There are many touching stories of babies who have been saved by this app! Baby Saves Archive – Count the Kicks

How YOU can help save babies?

Spread the word!

Tell your loved ones about Count the Kicks! Spread the word to everyone you know! Download the app today!


Every donation amount matters. Help push for life-saving stillbirth prevention initiatives!

Attend Upcoming events!

April 17, 2023 is the Changemakers Luncheon featuring special guest, Iowa women’s basketball coach, Jan Jensen. All proceeds from this event benefit the mission to educate and empower expectant parents through the Count the Kicks campaign. You won’t want to miss this amazing event!

MFLCares logo

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending Corp., a mortgage company located in Urbandale, IA.  The program was started in 2016 to create a conduit between our communities and the incredible causes within them. The intent of MFLCares is to promote and support central Iowa charities, to create relationships and partnerships with these non-profit organizations, and to foster an environment of service among our team. Each month, we get the opportunity to meet the real people behind these organizations.  Each monthly charity will be promoted through the personal and professional networks of our team.  Visit our website to see other MFLCares charities who are doing great things! 

Help save a baby! Share the Count the Kicks App with your expecting loved one today!

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What’s in Store for the 2023 Housing Market?

The housing market is always evolving and shifting. Attempting to predict where it will head next is like trying to catch the Golden Snitch in Quidditch … sending you flying in all directions, often to no avail. Thankfully, we have economists and industry experts who study trends to offer a glimpse of what’s likely to transpire in the housing market. It may not be a crystal ball, but it’s the closest thing we’ve got. So, here’s a roundup of expert forecasts to give you an idea of what to expect for housing in 2023.

A Deceleration (or Decline) in Home Prices

Experts differ in their predictions on where home prices are headed. But the one consistent theme is that exorbitant price increases are likely a thing of the past (at least for now). CoreLogic and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) agree that home-price growth will continue to decelerate this year, meaning prices will still increase but at a slower pace. CoreLogic predicts that from September 2022 to September 2023, prices will increase 3.9%, while the MBA expects annual price growth of 0.7% by Q4. Fannie Mae, however, forecasts that house prices will decline 1.5% in 2023. Freddie Mac also predicts a modest price decline of 0.2%. Keep in mind that the rate of price growth or contraction will vary by local market and depend largely on supply and demand.

Fewer Home Sales

Home sales have been steadily declining since early 2022, but will that trend continue in 2023? It depends who you ask. According to Freddie Mac’s forecast, total home sales activity could bottom out at around 5 million units at the end of this year, representing a decline of about 30%, which is in line with other periods of history when interest rates sharply increased. Fannie Mae expects a more moderate decline, with single-family home sales falling by 20.8% in 2023. Contrast that with the MBA, which anticipates existing-home sales will dip during the first half of the year before climbing up in the second half. They also predict new-home sales will gradually rise over every quarter this year. Even if home sales rise this year, they’re unlikely to surpass the 15-year high that we experienced in 2021.

What About Mortgage Rates?

The big question on everyone’s minds is … when will mortgage rates come back down? No one knows, but as long as inflation persists and the Federal Reserve continues to tighten monetary policy, mortgage rates will likely remain elevated. Conversely, if the Fed’s actions trigger a recession, mortgage rates could fall. But if you’re waiting for mortgage rates to drop below the 3% mark we saw in 2020, keep in mind that rates during that time were historically low and the result of unprecedented demand and economic shifts caused by the pandemic. If you look at average mortgage rates over time, the 30-year fixed rate has a historical average of nearly 8%.

Source: Freddie Mac, Primary Mortgage Market Survey

Bottom line: Average mortgage rates are helpful for understanding trends, but for homebuyers, personal factors such as your credit, down payment, loan type, and more can influence the rate you’ll get. So if you think rates are too high for you, talk to your Loan Officer first to run the numbers and see what kind of rate you could score.

Are We Headed for a Housing Crash?

With all of these changes underway, you may be wondering if we’re in for a repeat of the 2008 housing crash, but it’s important to note that the conditions in 2008 were very different compared to today, with housing supply being a key factor. As NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun explains, “The current lack of supply underscores the vast contrast with the previous major market downturn from 2008 to 2010, when inventory levels were four times higher than they are today.” Another key factor is that regulations have been put in place requiring stricter lending standards so that today’s borrowers are at less risk of default. Based on this information, what’s occurring now is likely not a crash but rather a much-needed correction that should help bring more balance to the housing market.

This is a lot of information. If you have questions or are looking to buy this year, reach out today. We are happy to help. 515-252-7107 or

Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey, August 2022.
CoreLogic, a data and analytics company, U.S. Home Price Insights, November 2022.
MBA Mortgage Finance Forecast, October 2022.
Fannie Mae Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group, October 2022.
Freddie Mac Quarterly Forecast, October 2022.
NAHB, “Builder Confidence Down 10 Straight Months as Housing Market Continues to Weaken,” October 18, 2022.
Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey®

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MFLCares about Level Up Community Athletic Program

LU CAP is the MFLCares featured charity for January.
Flynn Heald, President and Founder of Level Up LLC, and LU CAP, accepts a check from Taylor Fredrickson, Licensed Loan Originator with Midwest Family Lending.

DES MOINES, Iowa – Level Up Community Athletic Program is the recipient of the Midwest Family Lending‘s first MFLCares donation of 2023!

“For Taylor to select our non-profit as a MFLCares charity means so much to all the staff and athletes involved” says Flynn Heald, President and Founder of Level Up LLC, and LU CAP. “Thank you so much Taylor! We are honored to be selected and extremely grateful for the donation.”

MFLCares logo

Through MFLCares, Midwest Family Lending teammates have the opportunity to nominate a charity they’d like to support. Taylor Fredrickson, Licensed Home Loan Originator with Midwest Family Lending, nominated Level Up.

“I chose Level Up because growing up an athlete had such a positive impact on my life,” says Taylor. “Luckily, my mom made involvement in sports a financial priority. I understand that not all parents have the means for their children to participate (shoes, jerseys, travel, etc., certainly add up). Level Up is giving many children the opportunity to play 7-on-7 football. More importantly they provide a positive environment, amazing leadership, and infinite opportunities. I love that Level Up’s ultimate goal is to set their athletes up for future success by teaching them discipline and instilling work ethic. This league has helped many kids get scholarships to play football in college when otherwise college wouldn’t have been an option.”

Taylor has witnessed the benefits coaches receive as well. “My fiancé Justin has been a volunteer coach with Level Up for a couple of seasons now,” says Taylor. “He absolutely loves it! It has been fun watching him pass the love he has for football on to the kids in the program. But more than that, it has been amazing watching him build relationships with the athletes in the program.”

Their Mission:

LU CAP (Level Up Community Athletic Program) is a 501(c)3 aimed at making it possible for the youth of our community to pursue their dreams of playing college football and get a leg up in life after football is over.

“Our focus has always been simple- provide a safe and structured opportunity for young athletes to develop their tangible & intangible skills in a stable and inclusive environment. Through high level competition and exposure, we have truly taken the name Level Up to a personal development level. Over the last 4 years we have helped more than 60 athletes continue their academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level. We have seen more then 350 scholarships offered to athletes in our programs. We recognize many young athletes may not get this amazing opportunity due to the financial commitment that comes with training, traveling and participating in such a rigorous program. This non-profit was started to help these athletes realize their dreams.” – Flynn Heald, Level Up LLC, LU CAP

How YOU can help!

Donation Options:


Check: payable to LU CAP mailed to 5655 Flagstone Way, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Upcoming Events

Stop by Pizza Ranch in Urbandale on Feb. 6th, between 5 and 9 pm. LU athletes will be working for tips! Every dollar will go towards scholarships for athletes.

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending Corp., a mortgage company located in Urbandale, IA.  The program was started in 2016 to create a conduit between our communities and the incredible causes within them. The intent of MFLCares is to promote and support central Iowa charities, to create relationships and partnerships with these non-profit organizations, and to foster an environment of service among our team. Each month, we get the opportunity to meet the real people behind these organizations.  Each monthly charity will be promoted through the personal and professional networks of our team.  Visit our website to see other MFLCares charities who are doing great things! 

With this MFLCares donation, along with donations from across the state, we hope to open our doors to more athletes to continue their pursuit towards higher education and athletics.

Flynn Heald, President and Founder of Level Up LLC, and LU CAP
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January is Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month

As 2023 begins, Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month is in full swing. Start this year off strong by committing to IBAT’s mission to “Learn Something” and “Do Something” to raise awareness in your community, support survivors, and help prevent this terrible crime. I want to offer you some ideas on how you can get involved this month:

Anti-Trafficking Training

The first step to raising awareness is educating yourself about this form of modern exploitation. You can host an anti-trafficking training with a local organization for your business and community members to learn more about the signs of human trafficking and steps you can take to prevent it. You can find more information here.

Once you know the signs of human trafficking, reach out to members of your community and help them learn these signs as well .

A Small Gesture Can Go a Long Way

Millions of Americans have learned about a vital hand signal that can help rescue an innocent trafficking victim. Do you know the hand signal to alert others that a trafficking situation is occurring?

Simply put your hand up with your palm facing out, place your thumb in your palm like you are holding up the number four, and curl all four fingers around the thumb like you are “trapping” it. You should continue doing this hand signal multiple times. Now you can help spread the word about the “sign for help.”

Strengthen Your Community

IBAT has grown tremendously in its first year, surpassing 600 members across the state. You can help us continue to grow this membership by asking businesses in your community to join you in this fight by becoming an IBAT member. You can direct them to our website to apply at

Post on Social Media

In a digital world, a social media post can cause a rippling effect. Share on your social media information about Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Month and IBAT. You can download IBAT graphics here

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