No matter what your age, experience or background, you’ll find the heartland of America a great place to call home.
Affordable housing: Median real estate prices in our service area are below the national average, and there’s no shortage of homes of all sizes to choose from. Rental properties are plentiful and affordable as well.
Laid-back lifestyle: Family-friendly neighborhoods, low crime rates, a diverse mix of cultures and religions – our Midwestern values make it easy to settle in and become part of a community.
Great schools: In study after study, Iowa ranks as one of top five in the nation in educational excellence. In addition to our award-winning public school systems for your children, you’ll find world-renowned research universities and liberal arts colleges for furthering your own education.
Fine arts and entertainment: With arenas, venues, museums, libraries and historical sites, you won’t miss any of the top concerts or exhibits.
Des Moines is located in central Iowa, situated at the cross of Interstates 80 and 35. Interstate 235 cuts through the city. Highway 5 and Highway US 65 form a southeastern beltway which bypasses most metropolitan traffifc through the southern suburbs.
As Iowa's capital city, Des Moines is a hub of government action, business activity, arts and cultural affairs. With a City population approaching 200,000 and a metro population of nearly 500,000, Des Moines offers some of the nation's best schools, superb public services, and friendly, caring neighborhoods.
Affordable housing, one of the nation's shortest commute times, and an increasingly diverse population, make Des Moines a wonderful place to live, work and visit.
Des Moines is a major center for the insurance industry and also has a sizeable financial services and publishing business base. In fact, Des Moines was credited with the "number one spot for U.S. insurance companies" in a Business Wire article. The city is the headquarters for the Principal Financial Group, the Meredith Corporation, Ruan Transportation, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Other major corporations such as Wells Fargo, ING Group, Marsh, and Pioneer Hi-Bred have large operations in or near the metro area. In 2013 Forbes Magazine ranked Des Moines number on for "Best Places for Business and Careers". Des Moines was also ranked number one for "Best Cities for Families" by Kiplinger in 2012.
Des Moines has recently been experiencing rapid growth in the western, northern, and southern suburbs, which include Waukee, Ankeny, Norwalk, West Des Moines, Urbandale, and Grimes. All other suburbs, besides Windsor Heights, have experienced rapid growth - making the Greater Des Moines Metropolitan Area one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States. Downtown Des Moines also has been undergoing rapid development and revitalization as well, with many new restaurants, clubs, boutiques, and businesses opening downtown.
Des Moines is an important city in presidential politics as the capital of Iowa, which is home to the Iowa Caucus. The Iowa Caucus has been the first major electoral event in nominating the President of the United States since 1972; therefore, many presidential candidates set up headquarters in Des Moines. A 2011 article in the New York Times stated "if you have any desire to witness presidential candidates in the most close-up and intimate of settings, there is arguably no better place to go than Des Moines." The article also added "I'm not sure I would go so far as to say that Des Moines has become a vacation destination. But it most certainly has become cool."
The city of Winterset is located in Madison County about 45 minutes southwest of the state capital of Des Moines. Our Winterset office was merged in 1986 and is located on the town square.
Winterset is widely known for its covered bridges. A total of six Covered Bridges are located in Madison County, including one in Winterset City Park. The annual Covered Bridge Festival celebrates the bridges and local heritage every second full weekend in October. The famed movie, Bridges of Madison County, was filmed on location in 1995. Since its release, more than 100,000 tourists have visited the area. An adaptation of the movie will appear on Broadway in early 2014.
The Madison County Courthouse, in the middle of the town square, was built in 1868, and rebuilt in 1876 after being partially destroyed by fire.
Actor John Wayne was born in Winterset in 1907. His name at birth was Marion Robert Morrison. The Morrison family lived in the area until 1911. After 1911 the family moved to California because doctors felt that it would help the health of John's father.