Real Estate Information

Duluth MN Real Estate Blog

JS Realty


Displaying blog entries 41-49 of 49

Whether buying or selling, there are many things that can go wrong during a real estate transaction. Here are three of the most important ones to be aware of and ways to avoid them.


Financing. As one of the most important parts of buying or selling a home, Financing can be a little tricky. Along with having a great real estate agent, it is crucial to have an experienced and trusted lender in order for the proceedings to go seamlessly.

Inspections. Almost every buyer will want to do an inspection of the home before the final closing. If there are problems found in the inspection, the buyer could back out of the sale or the closing could be delayed. To avoid any potential problems coming up in the final inspection, the seller can have a pre-listing inspection done. That way the seller can take care of any problems before the closing and avoid complications.

Not Being Prepared. Whether it has to do with staging your home for showings, negotiating a final price, or being ready for the closing, it is always crucial to be prepared. Having a reliable real estate agent help you along the entire way is the best way to be prepared for all stages of the process. Jamie, Julie & Jackie of J.S. Realty are here to help whether you are buying or selling your home or property.

Please feel free to leave a comment or question here or call us at 218-729-9784!

Tips for Women Home Buyers

by JS Realty

Women home buyers attribute to a large market share in our marketplace.  Just like any buyer, there are certain things to pay attention to when purchasing a home.  When working with the J.S. Realty team (all women), we will help you through the entire process of finding a home that best suites your needs.  Here’s a list of some key things to consider:

How much exterior maintenance do you want?  Buying a home with maintenance-free siding along with soffit and facia can limit the amount of money you spend on taking care of the exterior of your home.  Siding that is painted will mean you will need to continually be painting the exterior and dealing with peeling and chipping paint on regular basis.  The same goes for decking.  Stained or painted decks require maintenance.  Decks that are made with composite or left natural, will require much less upkeep.

Does the home need “big ticket” repairs?  Make sure to take a good look at the foundation, roof and windows.  Repairing or replacing any of these items can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.  When you find your dream home, if any one of these items need attention, make sure and find out the costs during your home inspection time frame.

Location?  Living in town can mean you are closer to everyday conveniences, smaller yards to upkeep, shorter driveways to maintain and a host of other things.  If you desire to live out in the country, make sure and plan ahead for the costs of maintaining large yards and long driveways and the increase in fuel costs to drive to everyday conveniences and work. Think about your lifestyle and look for a home to match.

Safety?  Wherever you end up finding your home, make sure to independently research crime in the neighborhood.  This can be done by calling the local police department or using a website like  Pay attention to general safety tips like having good exterior lighting on your home, a good fence, good neighbors, windows far from the ground, an attached garage with an interior entrance to your home, no overgrown landscaping, etc.  Once you purchase your new home and move in, it is also suggested that you have all the locks changed on your home or get an alarm system.

Always leave yourself a “nest egg” of money.  Owning a home is a long-term commitment.  Appliances, furnaces, water heaters and plumbing issues happen.  Be prepared for the cost of repairs so you have the funds available to get things fixed. Being realistic about what you can afford is important.

Work with a REALTOR®.  At J.S. Realty, we will guide you through the home buying experience and look out for you every step of the way.  Buying a home may be the largest purchase in your life, so having representation is very important.  We sell homes to hundreds of home buyers and you can feel confident that we will do a good job for you too.

If you are looking to buy a home for yourself, give us a call. 
Jackie, Jamie or Julie Sathers are here to help!

Top Highlights of Hermantown

by JS Realty

Incorporated as a city on December 31, 1975, “The City of Quality Living” is a great place to live, work and do business. With 9,625 residents and counting, Hermantown is the fastest growing city in St. Louis County with much residential and commercial growth.

Jackson Project Homes
In 1937, during the Great Depression, 84 Jackson Project houses were built on empty land 12 miles north of Duluth. The intention was to provide low-wage workers with affordable housing and the ability to feed themselves and supplement their income with crops and livestock. 77 Years later, 83 of those houses are still standing and hold plenty of history in their walls.


City Services
Including the Fire Department, Police Department, City Offices for planning and zoning, Hermantown Area Chamber of Commerce, and the City Utility Department, the city services in Hermantown are always there to help.

Parks & Recreation
Since Hermantown is a city of outdoor activities, it’s easy to find somewhere to go for outdoor activities in Hermantown. Featuring the Hermantown Community Park with baseball fields, Fichtner Field, Stebner Park with soccer fields, Keene Creek Park, Sunrise Memorial Park War Memorial, Rose Road Field, Wildrose Trail, and Hermantown Hockey Arena with indoor and outdoor ice.

Community Events
The sense of community in Hermantown is easily displayed through the many community events that happen year-round. Among others, Hermantown is home to the Harvest Fest, Hermantown Summerfest, various golf tournaments, and many ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

Hermantown History Center
The Hermantown History Center welcomes new and existing residents with open arms. With an incredible mural painted on the side of the building designed by Brian Olson, the Center opened in 2008. Inside the History Center, you will find the Veteran’s Hall, a replica Jackson Project Home, a section on the Fire Hall and Volunteer Fire Department, and a collection of vintage clothing, photos and other artifacts.


Fantastic School District
At Hermantown Community Schools ISD #700, the mission, “All children will learn well and succeed”, allows children to receive the best educational opportunities possible. The Hermantown Community schools value community involvement and the pursuit of excellence in their programming.

Business Community
You can easily find everything you need in the nearby Miller Hill Mall and business corridor including Gander Mountain, Skyline Lanes Bowling Alley, Anytime Fitness, RJ Sport & Cycle, Sam’s Club, Engwall Florist & Greenhouses Inc., Essentia Clinic, Hermantown Federal Credit Union, North Shore Bank, Menards, Wal-Mart, Energy Plus, and many more.

Local Restaurants
Stop in for a meal at the many restaurants offered in Hermantown including Farleys, Dave’s Pizza, Beacon Sports Bar & Grill, Casa Latte, Chalet Lounge, Zen House, Subway, Maya Family Restaurant, China Star Family Restaurant, Outback Steakhouse, and many others.

Places of Worship
There are many places of worship offered in Hermantown. Among these are Peace in Christ Lutheran Church, Hermantown Community Church, Faith Baptist Church, Grace Lutheran Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, and Salem Lutheran Church.

Located just west of Duluth’s Miller Hill Mall and running through the Highway 53 Business Corridor, Hermantown is close to everything but is also filled with many residential neighborhoods boasting large lots and farm acreage. Hermantown is located just “over the hill” from Downtown Duluth and features a couple small lakes and many small creeks for trout fishing.

Simple Repairs to Help Your Home Show Better & Sell Faster

by Julie Sathers of JS Realty

Thinking of selling your home and want to protect your investment and make the most you possibly can?  Take care of these top 8 items to put your home in the best possible position for a quick and effortless sale.

1. First Impressions make all the difference!  Repaint or replace the front door, making sure it opens, closes and locks easily.  Remove dirt and cobwebs around light fixtures and the siding.  Trim up any landscaping.  Tighten up any loose handrails.

2. Clean and de-clutter.  If you don’t need it, donate it or toss it.   If you don’t know where to start, contact a home staging company.  Scrub the floors clean.  Repaint or touch up the walls.  If you have a small home, remove excess furniture to make the rooms feel spacious.  Keep it light and bright.  Open draperies.  Get rid of dated or broken window treatments.

3. The smell of your home can make or break a deal.  A clean home smells good. Don’t try to cover up smells with candles and plug in air fresheners…buyers instantly wonder what you are covering up.  A better solution is to let the fresh air in and clean your home.  Launder bedding and any pet beds.  Clean the carpets.

4. If it is broken, fix it.  Simple broken items like leaky faucets, broken window panes or windows that won’t open should be fixed.  

5. Floor coverings.  Clean, fresh floor coverings are best.  For hard surfaces, make sure they are clean. Make sure they are freshly vacuumed and cleaned – even if they are dated.

6. Windows.  Let the light in!  Clean the windows – inside and outside.  If there is peeling and chipping paint, scrap it, prime it and paint it.  Make sure all the windows are able to be opened. WD-40 can be used to loosen up hinges.

7. Paint.  Fresh paint cleans up many walls and makes the house smell clean. Keep your color choices neutral – whites, beiges and greys are best.

8. Staging.  Once you have gone through this list, consider hiring a stager or invite J.S. Realty over to walk through your home to recommend removal or addition of furniture and personal items to make rooms feel more appealing to buyers.

You only have one chance to make a first impression, whether that is pictures that are taken of your home or a buyer’s first walk through the door.  Plan ahead and put a little work into it to get your home ready to sell. You'll be pleased with the results and can thank us later!


What to Expect During a Closing

by JS Realty

The home closing or settlement is a very important day for home buyers and sellers alike. This is the day all money and documents are taken care of so the ownership and possession of the property can be transferred from seller to buyer. Your Agent at JS Realty is there to help walk you through the closing process and answer any questions you may have about your closing.

At this time, all previously agreed upon actions, such as work on the house or property need to be completed and all personal property needs to be removed. Payments to the contactors and all other parties involved with the transaction will be paid on closing day. Also on this day, if the seller has a mortgage, this will be paid in full.

A closing agent is typically hired as a neutral third party to handle all of the documents, money, and various other things needed for the closing. The closing agent is usually the title insurance company that is insuring the buyer’s title to the property and the closing will most likely take place in their office.

What to Bring to the Closing:

-Certified or cashier’s check made out to the closing company
-Insurance binder & paid receipt – be sure to check who the loss payee is by calling your loan officer
-Photo ID
-Apply for your utilities, electricity, city water, city sewer, and city gas

-Keys, garage door openers, etc. for the house
-Paid receipt from the garbage company
-Photo ID
-If in the city of Duluth, bring the I & I (sump pump) certificate
-Call to cancel utilities effective on the day of closing
-Call to cancel insurance, only after closing

The buyer will always have to attend to sign original loan documents but the seller may or may not need to attend as they may be able to pre-sign the deed and other documents. The proceeds from the sale may be wired directly to your bank or, in some situations, their new home purchase.

After the closing is complete, the buyer is in possession of the property and the seller must give them all keys, garage door openers, and any other devices related to controlling the home. The seller will have moved all of their possessions out of the house and the property should be clean. The buyer has a right to a final walk through just before signing all the final papers.

Make sure to keep copies of all documents as your tax preparer may want to see them when preparing your taxes for the year of sale. Also remember to give yourself more than an hour for the closing as you never know what could happen.

If you know what to expect from a closing beforehand, everything will be smoother and easier on the day of. Feel free to submit any questions or comments as we are always here to help.

What You Need to Know About Buying a Foreclosure

by JS Realty

When thinking about buying a foreclosure, you may have a lot of questions. Below is a list of the top things you will need to know when buying a foreclosure.

1. The seller (Bank) will not accept an offer that is contingent on selling your current home.

2. You must have your lender approval letter or verification of funds if you are paying cash when making an offer.

3. The seller (Bank) will typically not make any repairs to the property to assist in your financing or due to your property inspection.

4. Patience is a must.  No early move-ins.  Be flexible on the closing date.

5.  Foreclosures are typically lacking basic maintenance at a minimum and in Northern Minnesota, most have plumbing that has frozen. Financing is a huge challenge unless you have significant money to put down.  Expect the worst and be very happy when things are not broken that you expected would be.

6.  The sale is always as-is. The seller (Bank) contracts put everything in their favor and put the responsibility of everything on you. Buyer beware!

7.  Buyers should have a professional inspection done so they can get a good estimate on the cost of repairs the buyer would have to pay for after purchasing the property.

If you have any other questions about foreclosures or anything else related to buying or selling a home or property, please leave us a comment or call us at 218-729-9784.

The Buying Process

by Julie Sathers-JS Realty

Deciding to buy a home is a big decision. That's why at J.S. Realty, we work hard to inform you about the home buying process so you can feel comfortable with one of the biggest purchases of you life. We are there with you every step of the way!

One of the most valuable meetings you will have is the initial consultation with one of the agents at J.S. Realty. We realize you want to jump right into looking at homes but taking the time to review the process and help us learn what you are looking for can have a huge impact on not only looking at homes but what to do once you find the house you want. Once you find the house you would like, we are there with you through the entire process until you get the keys and move in.

Top Highlights of Canosia

by JS Realty

With a population just over 2,000 and a total area of 35.7 square miles, Canosia Township is a great community to call home. Canosia Township is located in Saint Louis County on the outskirts of Duluth, MN. Below, in no particular order, is a list of 10 of the best things Canosia has to offer.

Four Beautiful Lakes
Canosia Township is home to four beautiful lakes including Pike Lake, Caribou Lake, Fish Lake, and Wild Rice Lake. Great for lying on the beach and swimming in the summer or ice fishing and skating in the winter. Pike Lake features one of the best beach areas around; great for the whole family!

Pike Lake Golf Course
This AAA public 9-hole golf course boasts rolling terrain and plenty of water hazards and sand traps. With a par of 36 and 2,148 yards of golf from the longest tees, this is an excellent course to have nearby.

Notable Local Sites
From the Original Town Hall featuring pictures and artifacts from the early history of the area to the Volunteer Fire Department started in 1949, there is much "small town" community pride.

Close Proximity to Mall & Downtown
Less than 10 minutes from the Miller Hill Mall and 20 from Downtown, Canosia is close to everything but still far enough away to avoid the hustle & bustle. While the Miller Hill Mall offers a large variety of stores and restaurants for your family to enjoy, there is also a large variety of stores, restaurants, galleries, boutiques, and much more in Downtown Duluth. 

Excellent School District
Canosia falls to two different school districts, Proctor and Hermantown. ISD 704 in Proctor includes Bay View Elementary, Pike Lake Elementary, Jedlicka Middle School, and Proctor High School, all of which promote outstanding learning opportunities for the students. ISD 700 in Hermantown includes Hermantown Elementary School, Hermantown Middle School and Hermantown High School. Both school districts focus on providing educational opportunities in a small school atmosphere where the children can learn, succeed, and participate.

Access to Outdoor Activities
With the abundant lakes, woods, and trails, Canosia is an ideal spot for all kinds of outdoor activities. From fishing, hiking, and hunting, to swimming, four-wheeling, and snowmobiling, you and your family can fully enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer.

Wildlife Management Area
Consisting of wetland, bogs, and deciduous and coniferous forest, the Canosia State Wildlife Management area is a beautiful place for a peaceful walk alone or with the whole family. 

Rural, In-Home Businesses
Canosia is home to a local dog kennel, custom framing business, massage studio, in-home child care establishment, trucking and excavating companies, and many more.

Shopping in the Business District
Canosia features a convenient small business shopping district with a sampling of diners, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, a food and liquor store, a car detailing shop, and dental and hair shops along with a tire service center. You have everything you need nearby with great small-town service.

Places of Worship
There are several places in the Canosia Township that one can go to worship including Pike Lake Presbyterian Church, Saint Raphael’s Church, Northern Light Christian Church and Diocese of Duluth.

The Selling Process

by Julie Sathers-JS Realty

Deciding to sell your home is a big decision.  That's why at J.S. Realty, we work hard to inform you about the selling process so you can feel comfortable with one of the biggest sales in your life.  We are there with you every step of the way!

Step one is to have an initial consultation with J.S. Realty. Should you decide to offer your property for sale, you can trust J.S. Realty to market your home to potential buyers. Once we have found a buyer, we continue to be at your side all the way to a successful closing.

Displaying blog entries 41-49 of 49

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Contact Information

Photo of J.S. Realty Real Estate
J.S. Realty
J.S. Realty, LLC
5112 Midway Rd
Duluth MN 55811
Office: (218)729-9784
Fax: (218) 729-5638