Meet the Team

J. HARRIS REAL ESTATE is a boutique agency located in the beautiful alpine community of Mount Shasta City, at the base of majestic Mount Shasta in the far reaches of Northern California. We are in the heart of Mt. Shasta area real estate, which features premier properties in Siskiyou Lake Highlands Golf Resort community, Mount Shasta City, and the historic lumber and railroad towns of Weed, McCloud and Dunsmuir. Peace and quiet, clean air and water, and an idyllic way of life are in store for you here. Our quaint communities offer everything the outdoor enthusiasts want: skiing, hiking, biking, climbing, camping, golfing, swimming, fishing, the Pacific Crest Trail, Lake Siskiyou, and the resplendent lady herself, Mount Shasta…just to name a few.


Jessie Zapffe
Broker Owner • DRE#01893198

“We are creative, personal and professional, and we look forward to having a good relationship with you!”

I was born and raised in the East, but the further West I moved, the freer I felt. I love the wide open spaces and the endless skies. When I came to Mt Shasta in 1985, there was still a drug store with a soda fountain, one had to order essentials from the Sears Catalogue at a tiny outlet on Mt Shasta Blvd. and skinny dipping was all the rage at Castle Lake. Locals would give up their rentals in the late spring and move up on the mountain, returning to snap up a new living space when the weather turned cold. Those days are long gone, and the memories grow dim. What hasn’t changed is the incomparable beauty of the area, the clean air, the superb water, the friendly people and iconic Mount Shasta, whose silent majesty overshadows everything with its resolute stillness.

I was involved in the retail sector for thirteen years, where I met many interesting people who were passing through, some of whom remained. I wrote several books. At some point, as if there was not enough to do, I awakened with a midnight epiphany to run for the City Council. I was elected and I served for three years, until I moved outside the City limits. That brief stint gave me a diverse background for my career in Real Estate. To this day, I am on great terms with our wonderful City Staff.

Mount Shasta gives everyone opportunities to express themselves, and I am no different. At some point, between careers and during a time of re-focusing, I had another epiphany. This time it was to go into Real Estate Sales. It was a situation of the right timing connecting with my own life trajectory. Homes have always been a passion of mine. I can’t remember a time when I haven’t loved driving around looking at homes for sale. I started my career at a wonderful company. Two years later, I got my Broker’s License. I was successful and happy, and then another opportunity presented itself. This one allowed me more creative expression. I approached John Harris, who had owned the Real Estate Center for 35 years. He was totally open to the possibilities of change, and thus J. Harris Real Estate was created.

We consider ourselves a boutique real estate firm, and we provide all of the services one would expect from any other large franchise. John knows everyone. We bring fun, and a lack of pressure, to the sometimes intense process of buying or selling real estate. Because we are small, we never take for granted the fact that our clients can choose anyone, and they have chosen us.


John Harris  
Broker Associate • DRE#00428224

“We are independent, caring and professional, and we leave plenty of room for the enjoyment of the process for buying or selling your home!”

I can say I pretty much know everyone. I rarely meet people who do not become my friend. I discovered Mt Shasta on a ski trip in 1959. It was love at first slope. In 1960 I bought a home here, but did not make a permanent move until 1973.

I left home at 14, and embarked on a variety of careers before going into real estate. I am a Navy veteran, and I hold three degrees from my educational pursuits: Pharmacy, Industrial Engineering and Real Estate. My background includes owning motels, laundromats, drycleaners, an RV Park, a bedding-plant nursery and even a chainsaw business. Every time I visited Mt Shasta my desire to live here increased.

After a three year stint in the Bay Area in real estate, I finally moved here and opened the first Century 21 franchise in the area. A few years later, I opened my own company naming it the Real Estate Center. I remained under the aegis of the Real Estate Center until autumn 2014, when in a decisive move toward change, I renamed the company J. Harris Real Estate. While I no longer golf, ski or fly, I maintain a passion for fly fishing in the Pacific Northwest and real estate sales are still my main focus.


Nikolas Allen
Realtor® • DRE#02004800

“I help people through the complex process of buying and selling their homes, and I look forward to working with YOU!”

In 2015, I purchased my first home after decades of renting, and fell in love with the experience of home ownership, which until that point was just a nebulous concept. I got my real estate license so I could help other first-time homebuyers experience that same thrill.

Prior to selling real estate, I enjoyed a 20-year career in the field of marketing and advertising design. Most of those years were spent working in my hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I vacillated between employee and freelancer status for a variety of agencies, creative departments, and corporations including Target, Marshall Fields, The Musicland Group, and Mall Of America.

In 2008, I moved from Minneapolis to Mt. Shasta, California, where I launched my own marketing consulting company. A lifelong artist, I also got very involved in the regional art scene, exhibiting and selling my own brand of contemporary pop art, as well as curating exhibits at various galleries.

Passionate about art, marketing, and writing, I’ve written and published two marketing books—Death To The Starving Artist, and Heavyweight Marketing—aimed at artists and small business owners respectively.

My creative marketing background has been very helpful in my new career as a REALTOR®, and my passion for communication, dependability, and building strong relationships proves beneficial to every client I have the pleasure of working with.

I’m currently a REALTOR® at J. Harris Real Estate in Mt. Shasta, CA.  I bring a fresh, unique, and contemporary perspective, and I’m excited to be working in the modern real estate market.


Valerie Speaks
Realtor® • DRE#02038056

Find the Home that ‘SPEAKS’ to You!!

Valerie has been part of the Siskiyou community for over 20 years, and enjoys living and working in this wonderful area. Her desire to help people along with a vast knowledge of the real estate market, ability to evolve and quickly adapt, affords superior service for her clients as both buyers or sellers.

Valerie has experience with transactions for first time homebuyers, families looking to upgrade, seniors, relocations, land, investment properties and foreclosures. 

Valerie is committed to listening to her clients, is innovative and utilizes her keen negotiating skills to ensure a successful transaction, which earns her client’s trust and confidence. 

The goal for all her clients is to enjoy the real estate process and find the home that ‘SPEAKS’ to you!!