Common questions and experiences from homeowners guide this resource list. In general, for home maintenance topics, an internet search and YouTube videos are a great place to start. For non-emergency financial, physical & mental health, childcare, employment, taxes, etc. 211unitedway.org is a 24/7 resource. Please share additional resources to firstname.lastname@example.org. This list is not exhaustive, and new resources may develop and some may expire.
Whether you want to get out of debt or plan for your future, a budget and assistance from a financial counselor can get you there. When you own a home, house upkeep and maintenance emergencies are two new line items to add to your savings budget.
Community Action Duluth offers a free class called Common Cents and Integrated Coaching Program for credit building, budgeting, asset building, and debt reduction. Call (218) 726-1665. Lutheran Social Services provides free financial counseling. Get in better financial shape with these free resources.
As per your Land Lease, you are responsible for paying all taxes and assessments associated with your property. Why the homeowner is responsible for paying the property taxes is because the homeowner gets the benefit, “quiet enjoyment” of the land; One Roof does not per Article 4.7 of your Land Lease Agreement.
Typically, property taxes will be escrowed with your mortgage and paid by your mortgage holder. If you pay off your mortgage, you will need to make plans to save this money throughout the year and pay the property taxes on your own.
As with all homeowners, the interest portion of your mortgage payment is tax deductible. If you itemize your federal income taxes, the property taxes that are paid are also tax deductible.
Be sure to apply for a Property Tax Refund https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/property-tax-refund
Check your Homestead Status on your property tax statement. If it does not say “Homestead”, contact the county accessor to get this changed which will give you a reduction on your property taxes.
Then apply for the Homestead Credit, https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/homeowners-homestead-credit-refund
If you or your spouse is 65 years of age or older, check if you qualify for Property Tax Deferral for Senior Citizens. https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/property-tax-deferral-senior-citizens
- Notify One Roof. Let us know if you are at risk of foreclosure or struggling to pay bills. We may have resources to help.
- Connect with a HUD-approved housing counselor. This is especially important if you are facing foreclosure. HUD-approved housing counselors provide free, unbiased, confidential services to help homeowners make choices to address their housing needs. Lutheran Social Services is our local HUD-approved housing counseling organization. Call (888) 577-2227 or email email@example.com.
- Contact your mortgage servicer to discuss what options may be available to you to avoid foreclosure. You can learn more at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/mortgage-and-housing-assistance/help-for-homeowners/
- Income-eligible households can apply for Energy Assistance Program (EAP). Go online https://mn.gov/commerce/consumers/consumer-assistance/energy-assistance/ or contact AEOA for an application: Outside of Duluth call (800)662-5711, City of Duluth call (218)623-3011
- If you qualify for Energy Assistance (EAP) and are in the MN Power service area, you are eligible for an electric bill discount through MN Power’s CARE Program. To apply,
1) complete your LIHEAP application with AEOA (Outside of Duluth call (800)662-5711, City of Duluth call (218)623-3011)
2) Go online https://www.mnpower.com/CustomerService/CAREProgram or call a CARE Representative (218) 355-3500 to fill out the CARE application
- In MN Power service area, all households, regardless of income, qualify for a FREE Home Energy Analysis. You’ll receive energy-saving products and a detailed action plan to stop wasting energy in your daily activities at home. Request your home energy audit online https://www.mnpower.com/HEA.
- Eco3 is a non-profit providing a similar service for income-qualified residents of Duluth. https://www.ecolibrium3.org/energy/
For Cook County residents, we are unaware of a non-income restricted weatherization program. AEOA offers weatherization for income-eligible residents. https://www.aeoa.org/weatherization Arrowhead Electric does offer rebates for energy saving installations.
- Guide for Northern Gardeners
- Homeowner Landscaping Resources
- Lawns to Legumes grant
- If a tree is touching power lines, contact your power company. Minnesota Power has a routine vegetation maintenance cycle. They trim and/or remove vegetation that interferes with electric facilities.
- If trees at your Community Land Trust home are growing into power lines, and it appears that the trees must be cut, please call Minnesota Power at 1-800-228-4966. A Minnesota Power representative will visit the property and evaluate the trees for trimming or removal that interfere with electric lines. In some cases Minnesota Power may cut the tree down, trim branches or offer to drop the customer service wire so that they or a contractor can perform the work. Minnesota Power does not clean up any type of tree debris for this work.
- If a tree has been damaged in some manner (storm, disease, fire) Minnesota Power may cut the tree down, trim branches or remove the hazard to restore electric service. Minnesota Power does not clean up any tree debris. Cleanup is the responsibility of the customer that owns the tree. Call the CLT Stewardship Associate if you need a list of tree service companies.
Water damage is one of the costliest repairs for a homeowner. It can be caused by a flood, ice dams, sewer back-up, incorrect ground slope, lack of gutters & downspouts or unclean gutters, or a poorly maintained roof.
- Prevention tips https://www.hubinternational.com/blog/2017/07/six-sewer-backup-prevention-tips/
- City of Duluth offers grants to homeowners in order to install sump pumps, remove traps in the sewer line, and to cover lateral line replacement https://duluthmn.gov/public-works-utilities/utilities/sanitary-sewer/
- City of Proctor https://proctormn.gov/sewer-service-2/ does not have any funding sources available. The City of Proctor does require camera footage of the sewer line at time of sale and possible replacement depending on camera footage at the seller’s expense.
- City of Cloquet has grant funding available https://www.cloquetmn.gov/departments/community-development/i-i-program
- City of Two Harbors https://www.twoharborsmn.gov/city_departments/departments_m_-_t/sewer.php
- City of Grand Marias (218) 387-1848 https://www.ci.grand-marais.mn.us/remote
Water In Basement
- Inspect where the water is coming from
- Sump pump might need to be replaced
- Water from floor drain will require a plumber
- Moisture on walls comes from your grading, slope of the ground outside your home
- Leaks from cracks and pipe penetration
- This companies’ website explains problem areas, how to maintain your sump pump, and ways to waterproof your basement including videos. We do not have an opinion on work that this company can be hired to do: https://www.safebasements.com/basement-waterproofing.html
Contact the City you live in and review their requirements.
City of Duluth requires an application and a permit https://duluthmn.gov/csi/residential-projects/fences/
City of Proctor requires an application https://proctormn.gov/building-permits/
City of Cloquet requires application and permit https://www.cloquetmn.gov/our-city/permits-licenses/commercial-residential-public-works-utility-zoning
City of Two Harbors has guidelines https://www.twoharborsmn.gov/city_departments/departments_a_-_l/building_official.php
City of Grand Marais has no information online. Call City Hall (218) 387-1848
Locate your lot lines. When you purchased your home, a plat drawing of your property was prepared by the title company and attached to your title commitment. A plat drawing shows the approximate measurements of the lot lines.
The +/- on the plat drawing means that the lot line is more than or less than a couple of feet (it is not exact). A plat drawing can help locate property pins (if a previous survey was done). You may want to get a Property survey done ($1500/approx.) for exact lines if not able to locate survey pins on plat drawing provided. It is the homeowner erecting the fence’s responsibility to know where the property boundaries are. A dispute as to location of property lines is a civil matter between landowners.
Talk with your neighbors as a courtesy and to maintain a good relationship.
Call before you dig. 811 or (800)252-1166 www.gopherstateonecall.org
Making some renovations to your home and signing up for services can help you remain in your home. Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity has put together a guide for Aging In Place that you can download for free on their website. https://home.tchabitat.org/age-well-at-home. Share this guide with your loved ones and contractors. Western Lake Superior Habitat for Humanity serves Carlton, South St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties with their Age In Place program. Other local services include Age Well Arrowhead (a paid service): 218-623-7800 and Senior Linkage Line (information line): 800-333-2433