Space Heater Guard

Purchase a heater with a guard around the heating element. A wire grill or other protection is essential to keep fingers or fabrics from touching the hot element. Portable electric heaters that heat by circulating oil or water, however, usually have lower surface temperatures and may not need guards.
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Mortgage Expiration

If you lock in a mortgage rate, make sure the expiration date leaves enough time to complete the real estate closing. The flood of home purchases and refinancings has created major processing delays, so if there is any question about the processing time, or if you seem to be cutting it close, you may want to pay a little more for a longer lock-in period rather than risk losing your rate.
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Foreclosure Risks

Buying a foreclosure property can be risky, especially for the novice. Usually, you buy a foreclosure property as is, which means there is no warranty implied for the condition of the property (in other words, you can't go back to the seller for repairs). The condition of foreclosure properties is usually not known because an inspection of the interior of the house is not possible before the sale. In addition, there may be problems with the title, though that is something you can check out before the purchase.
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Natural Linoleum

In kitchen and bathroom areas where vinyl flooring is often used, natural linoleum can be used instead. (Vinyl flooring is sometimes generically referred to as "linoleum," so be sure to request "natural linoleum.") Natural linoleum is made of linseed oil, pine resins, and jute. It was used for decades before vinyl flooring became available, and it's making a comeback. Natural linoleum can be bought at almost any flooring or home improvement store.
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Dividing Hardy Bulbs

Crowded bulbs, or those producing fewer or smaller blooms than normal probably need to be divided. Do not dig the bulbs until after the foliage has yellowed. Diseased or wormy bulbs should be thrown out. Very small bulbs may not bloom for one or two years so. After digging, bulbs that can't be planted immediately are stored in a cool, dry, dark area at temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees. A few bulbs can be put in paper bags and hung from the ceiling. Large numbers of bulbs can be put, no more than 3 deep, on trays with screen bottoms. Inspect bulbs for rot during the storage period. The bulbs are replanted in October. Before digging and dividing, check the cultural information given for specific plants.
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Storm Names

The National Hurricane Center gives the storm a name from the list once a tropical storm reaches wind speeds of 39 mph and develops a counter-clockwise circulation. The letters Q, U, X, Y and Z are omitted from the list because so few names begin with those letters. Names associated with storms that have caused significant death and/or damage are usually retired.
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Elevating Appliances

For protection against shallow flood waters, the washer and dryer can sometimes be elevated on masonry or pressure-treated lumber at least 12" above the projected flood elevation. Other options are moving the washer and dryer to a higher floor, or building a floodwall around the appliances.

The furnace and water heater can be placed on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12 above the projected flood elevation, moved to inside a floodwall or moved to a higher floor.

Furnaces that operate horizontally can be suspended from ceiling joists if the joists are strong enough to hold the weight. Installing a draft-down furnace in the attic may be an option if allowed by local codes. Some heating vents can be located above the projected flood elevation.

Outside air conditioning compressors, heat pumps or package units (single units that include a furnace and air conditioner) can be placed on a base of masonry, concrete or pressure-treated lumber. All work must conform to state and local building codes.
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