Wedding Woes

Sell it and have no regrets.

Dear Prudence,

My husband died while we were separated. We were married for 15 years and it was a long haul, both good and bad. My counselor recommended not to make any major life changes for at least a year. Well, it has been a year and I am tired of all the lingering ghosts. I want a fresh start. The problem is his family’s home going back four generations. The house has a lot of repairs I don’t have the heart to deal with, but the land is worth a lot. His parents died three years earlier and we bought out his siblings thinking we could make a fresh start in the country. But we brought all our baggage with us instead.

All of my in-laws are aghast at the thought of me selling the place. They have put me through the emotional ringer but only one has made a serious offer to buy back the property and it was laughably low. I offered for them to come and get whatever heirlooms they wanted (they took most of them already after the death of their parents) but it wasn’t enough. What stings is that my sister-in-law accuses me of being a vulture. She claimed that I knew the property would be more valuable in the future and faked my relationship with her brother so I could cash in. My husband wasn’t in good health at the time. I did look at recent nearby developments when we first considered moving here. It wasn’t a solid bet but the area was growing and that fact did factor in my agreeing to this. I am just heartsick here. Help!

—Moving On

Re: Sell it and have no regrets.

  • LW doesn't mention kids, so: Sell it, cut off communication with them, and go.

    If kids are involved, I'd do the same thing, but make sure to educate the kids in an age appropriate matter about what was going on, and leave the door open to those relationships.
  • Sell it. They can buy it on the market if they want it. 
  • Sell it and if they want it they can band together and buy it. It doesn’t sound like you’re close with his family. So sell and block their numbers and move on. 

  • The LW already did the right thing by giving them "first dibs" to buy it.

    I'm also wondering if there are children involved.  Because if not, there's no reason to talk to any of these people and she should block them all.

    There's a family in my neighborhood who lives in or owns 5 houses.  Including two on my street.  One of their family members also used to own our house, but lost it to foreclosure.  Not a sob story though.  It was back in the heyday of crazy bank loans.  He got $220K in loans that were worth far more than the house at the time.  Then walked away from them all to buy a more valuable house with cash.  Overall, I don't care for the members of this family but we are all cordial.

    My H mentioned to the family member who owns the house next to us (though it's a rental) that we were moving out of state and would be selling our house in the near future.  She actually had the audacity to tell him that we needed to sell the house to her or one of her family members.  The previous owner has also mentioned to us in the past, to let him know if we were ever selling.

    Whatever.  I'll give the family first dibs because that's easier for me if either one bites.  But I seriously doubt foreclosure guy, who is largely retired now, could afford or get a loan for my house.  The other neighbor unexpectedly passed away a couple months ago.  But there wasn't a doubt in my mind she was expecting some delusional price because she "deserved it" and would have balked when we expected comps.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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