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Dave Says – December 4, 2011

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Mobile homes are bad investments Dear Dave, I’ve heard you tell people not to buy mobile homes. We bought one when we moved out of our apartment, and it’s been much cheaper for us. Why do you feel this way? Debbie Dear Debbie, It’s simple. Mobile homes go down in value. When you buy a house, it goes up in value in the long run. From a financial standpoint, mathematically, when you buy a mobile home, you’re buying a very large car in which to live. Now, I’m not necessarily against manufactured homes. But the phrase “manufactured home” can mean different things to different people. My test goes something like this: If it’s a type of housing that doesn’t look like it had the wheels yanked off, then it will probably go up in value over the years. There’s nothing wrong with renting an apartment for a while. When you pay out rent, that’s all you’re losing in the deal. But when you buy a mobile home, you’re losing out with the payments and you’re losing money every day as the thing goes down in value. That’s why I tell people not to buy mobile homes! —Dave


No help for the unreasonable Dear Dave, My stepdaughter is 17 and will be starting college this fall. Her dad and I want to help her with expenses, but she’s chosen a private university (with the help of her other parents) that costs $250,000 for an undergraduate degree. We don’t want her going into student loan debt, but we can’t afford that kind of money, and she’s really pressing the issue. What do you suggest? Christina Dear Christina, The biggest problem I see is that you’ve got a 17-year-old girl wagging the dog. I can tell you right now this wouldn’t happen at my house. When it comes to the parent-child relationship at that age, the adults tell the children what to do. It doesn’t happen the other way around. If this child is going to take your money, then she needs to take your advice too. If she’s not willing to be reasonable and take your advice, then she gets none of the money. There’s no undergraduate degree on the planet worth $250,000. The whole idea is absurd, and somebody needs to say that out loud. This girl can work, and she can go to a state school and get a great education for about a fourth of that price. Since you’re in Texas, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the University of Texas or Texas A&M. They’re great schools. And at that price range, I’m sure it would allow you guys to pitch in and help out some. But seriously, a quarter of a million dollars for an undergrad degree? I don’t think so! —Dave
Intensity hurting the marriage? Dear Dave, When does reaching the point of being debt-free become more important than marriage? We’re following your plan and doing the debt snowball, but my husband’s been working a second job, and it’s really cutting into our together-time at night and straining our relationship. I’m afraid we’re going to end up debt-free, but divorced. When does one outweigh the other? Tracy Dear Tracy, Getting out of debt is never more important than your marriage. But families go through all kinds of stuff, and one of those things is cleaning up messes they’ve made. It’s not always fun, but there’s a price to pay if you want to win with your money or anything else. It sounds to me like your husband has gone gazelle intense about getting out of debt, and in the process may have left you behind a little bit. I don’t recommend that! He probably needs to take some time to come back and emotionally re-connect with you. And I’m sure some good, old-fashioned back rubs and words of encouragement from you are in order. Your man could use them if he’s been working two jobs! But there’s plenty of time for snuggling and stuff later. Right now, you’re trying to do something—something really important—for the good of your family. I know it can be difficult, but it won’t last forever. And I can promise you this: Once you’re done, you’ll be very glad you toughed it out! —Dave
Ready to buy? Dear Dave, I graduated from college in May, and I already have a job in my field. It was a part-time position that went full time, so I already have $15,000 in an IRA and about $23,000 in savings. I’m also debt-free, because scholarships paid for my education. Am I ready to buy a house? Zack Dear Zack, This is an awesome position you’re in right now! Financially, you’re okay to buy a house. I do have one slight hesitation, though. There are going to be lots and lots of things happening in your world during the next few years, and there’s a possibility you’ll end up moving—maybe for a girl, or even another job—during this time period. It’s going to be a time of transition, and having a piece of real estate tied around your neck could be a huge pain. But if you’re sure that’s where you want to be for a while, then it’s not such a big deal. Keep in mind that there’s a word for real estate that sells quickly, and that word is cheap! Lots of times, the only way to get out from under something like that fast is to practically give it away. It’s a great time now to buy a home, though. It’s like they’re on sale. Interest rates are really low, too. Don’t use the entire $23,000 as a down payment on a place, and keep an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses set aside. Make sure you get a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage, too. If you play this right, Zack, you’re going to be sitting pretty! —Dave
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Harbor Freight Tools bringing 30 to 35 jobs to Vicksburg

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(photo source: Harbor Freight Tools)

California-based Harbor Freight Tools has announced a new store opening in Vicksburg in 2021.

The exact opening date will be announced closer to the event; however, construction has already begun at 1601 North Frontage Road, WJTV reports.

The store, which sells a large variety of tools and equipment at discount prices, is expected to employ between 30 and 35 people from the Vicksburg area in management and retail sales positions.

“We’ve been looking to open a location in Vicksburg for a number of years so that we can provide the tools and equipment at tremendous values to the community,” Trey Feiler, senior vice president, real estate and construction for Harbor Freight Tools, told the station. “In addition to finding a great location, we were attracted by the availability of great associates in the Vicksburg area, and we look forward to having them join the Harbor Freight team.”

Applicants should apply online.

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Vicksburg’s China Buffet reopens for dine-in service Nov. 4

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(photo via Facebook, used with permission)

The China Buffet of Vicksburg will be back open for dine-in service Wednesday, Nov. 4.

The restaurant, located at 4150 S. Frontage Road, announced the reopening Monday on its Facebook page.

China Buffet closed its doors earlier this year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and a short time later reopened for carry-out service only.

As of next week, customers will be able to sit down and eat inside again and enjoy the buffet for the first time in months at the popular restaurant.

Customers can still call in their orders to pick up food (601-630-0331) until the dine-in service begins.

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Kevin Roberts opens his second Fit Chef store in Madison

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Kevin Roberts and his new Fit Chef store in Madison. (photos courtesy Kevin Roberts)

Vicksburg resident Kevin Roberts is opening a new Fit Chef location in Madison, Mississippi, next week.

The new Fit Chef is Roberts’ second location. The store promotes a healthy eating lifestyle and offers healthy prepared meals and catering. The grand opening of the new Fit Chef is Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 111 Dees Drive in Madison.

The first Fit Chef is located at 3401 Halls Ferry Road in Roberts hometown of Vicksburg and is popular among local residents.

Roberts has plenty to keep him busy. He is also the owner of The Chopping Block, an axe throwing arcade located at 1504 Washington St. in downtown Vicksburg, which he opened earlier this year.

Roberts is hoping that his second Fit Chef location will have as much success as the first one as he continues to expand the Fit Chef brand.

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