The Shift From Open Concept

Are you open to a home that is not open concept? Some buyers have reevaluated and now search for homes that reflect how differently we’re using our interior space, specifically when choosing an open or closed concept layout. Consider a few reasons why some are seeking homes with a more closed concept.

More Privacy

More rooms with distinct separation by walls and doors give you more options to find a spot for privacy. And the reality that we’re spending more time at home now than ever before just reiterates the value of having a choice in finding space to tuck away from others and regroup.

More Volume Control

While the sightlines of an open concept home are appealing to many, the acoustics and noise level can often be troublesome. Moms find little reprieve from the wild shrieks of spirited youngsters in an open-concept space where the kitchen flows to the family living area. A home with a separate kitchen allows for more volume control while preparing family meals.

More Rooms To Decorate

If you’re a fan of interior design but have trouble choosing just one theme, finding a home with multiple rooms means you have that many more chances to vary the décor. Instead of worrying that the open design plan flows from one room to another, you can arrange each room with creative flair.

More Energy Efficient

You have more control over the heating and cooling of your space with a closed-concept home. Managing the house temperature by closing off rooms used less often results in lower heating and cooling costs and makes the closed concept arrangement more energy efficient.

Now’s the time to give an older home a chance. Find more tips for buyers at


Throughout its 100-year history, Mel Foster Co. has made it a priority to give back to the communities it serves. Today that tradition continues with the announcement that Mel Foster Co. is donating $100,000 to local charities and organizations. The company has selected 20 charities to receive gifts in 2021.

Mel Foster Co. agents and staff support many charities by participating in workplace donation drives held at each office throughout the year. “Our agents and staff are passionate about causes that help struggling families and children, veterans who battle addiction and homelessness and animals that need an advocate on their journey to their forever home. We know the causes they care about and encouraged them to nominate their favorite non-profits for our initiative. These submissions were compiled to create a list of 20 local charities. Agents and staff then voted to help determine the fund distribution,” explained Lynsey Engels, president, Real Estate Brokerage at Mel Foster Co.

With the selection of the John Deere Classic Platinum Tee Club as one of the top charities, the John Deere Foundation matches the donation and doubles the amount for Birdies for Charity, making it a $20,000 total gift.

Clair Peterson, John Deere Classic Tournament Director, said, ““We are so honored to be included in Mel Foster Co.’s generous charity initiative.  The $10,000 they are donating to the John Deere Classic will make it possible for every organization that participates in our Birdies for Charity Program to get at least a 5% bonus.  It is a real reminder of how important Mel Foster Co. is to our community, and we are thrilled to celebrate their 100th anniversary the same year we celebrate our 50th.”

To complement the corporate financial gifts to the community, Mel Foster Co. agents and staff pledge to donate 1,000 hours of volunteer service in 2021 to charities and organizations of their choice. Engels continued, “Not only do we see the generosity of our agents and staff when they fill a box with coats, food or school supplies, we see it throughout the community when they give their time to volunteer. It’s heartwarming to see how much they care and what a difference they make.”

“We are so grateful for Mel Foster Co. and their partnership. Not only are they stepping up to the plate in a major way financially, but they’re also willing to partner with us by putting boots on the ground and serving with their hands and feet. Their donation will help give us the resources to equip people for the workforce, provide essential needs to our community, and bring hope to people who need it the most,” commented Rusty Boruff, Executive Director at One Eighty.

Rob Fick, president and CEO of Mel Foster Co. added, “As a family-owned business for 100 years, we are committed to making a difference in the communities where we live and work. This important initiative will have a lasting impact on families and a lasting impact on everybody within the organization who contributed to making it happen.”

Mel Foster Co. is celebrating its 100-year anniversary through agent and employee, client and community events throughout the year.  Be sure to follow our Facebook page,  to see our charity post updates.  To learn more about Mel Foster Co., its people and giving back, visit

Outdoor Living Expansion

Everything we do inside, we now want to do outside more than ever before. Consider a few options as you plan projects to enhance your outdoor living spaces.

Renovation Nation

High-end accents like a fire pit or hot tub are both in demand right now. Homeowners want tailored, renovated spaces for safe gatherings and more staycations. Create a custom look by adding lighting, which is on the list for more than half of those tackling an outdoor reno project.

Work And Cook At Home

Many are still working from home. And if you work from home, you eat and cook more at home too. Add an outdoor kitchen with a cooktop, extra counter space and a refrigerator for convenience. Outdoor pizza ovens and barbeques are hot trends. Foodies are planting vegetables and herbs right outside the door, too, since fresh produce tastes so much better in summer salads and entrees.

Focus On The Front Yard

Before 2020, we did most of our socializing in the backyard, where we had room for cozy gatherings on the deck or patio. But many are now looking to enhance the usefulness of the front yard too, where they can visit while maintaining guidelines for social distancing.

Space To Relax

Homeowners seek out space where they can unwind and find quiet. And privacy has become a big priority. Outdoor additions like covered side yards and nooks provide an area of respite. Build a garden set away from the house to relieve stress and triumph in the crop pick. Add feeders and a water source for the friendly neighborhood birds, who will bring soothing bird melodies with them during their visit.

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