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Yucky family situation that I could use advice

raindrop's picture

Where do I even start with explaining this mess?

Ok, I am very close to my mom, age 67.  But I cannot stand my sister, her husband, and even my own nephew. My nephew is being raised to be  very entitled, rude, and plain mean. He’s 13 now, but he’s been a jerk since age 8. He’s the golden child. Because of those 3, my Dad abd Stepmom Have disengaged from all of us. My sisters family is very uncomfortable for anyone to be around and it’s torn apart my family. Dad and stepmom won’t talk to me because they don’t want to play favorites. They know I’m ok and that I can call if I need them, but they want nothing to do with the insanity my sisters family brings and now we have no family get togethers, etc. I can’t even begin to tell you all the things that my sister and her family have said or done to hurt us. 

My mom?  She tries to act like everything is fine and she enables my sister and her family. They completely use her and she lets them. I’m talking big money, windows, new furniture, etc.  She’ll then recognize she was conned and she’ll vow to never let it happen again. But a couple months later, it happens again. Wash rinse repeat. Her retirement is 40k/year. Their combined income is 85-90k. 

Now to MY dilemma. I’m moving several hours away from all of them and had a realtor give me the numbers on selling my place. If I get the asking price and do not come down in price much, I’l break even after realtor fees are paid. My place will likely sell within a week and I probably won’t need to come down in price.  My mom (67) announced tonight that she’d like to buy my place and sell her place. She would not give me the full asking price, but slightly lower since I won’t have realtor fees. I’ll come out slightly ahead than just breaking even. I asked her why she wants to buy it. She said she likes that my condo is on the main floor, no stairs or steps anywhere, and that it will be easier on her knees which ache her, how it’s maintenance free and in excellent condition. She owes on her house the amount I’d sell her my place for, but her house  needs a lot of work done that she cannot afford. 

I want to help my mom because I know her knees hurt. But I also know she will be able to save a lot more money if she buys my place because it’s in excellent condition and utilities itself are much lower too. But  she’s going to give her extra money  to my sister for my nephews braces or WHATEVER. I told my mom my concerns and reservations to helping her only to have her help my sister. And she said “well I can do whatever I want with my money, you’ll come out slightly ahead, I won’t have stairs, and if I want to help my only grandchild have a better life, I will, it’s my money” 

I want to help, but then again, I don’t. I’d like to move away and do my own thing much like my SM and dad have done. But I’ll feel guilty about the knees/stairs thing if I don’t help. 


Harry's picture

You are not really helping your Mother.  She is just getting a place that is supper nice.  You are getting full price with no realtor cut.   Your mother can do with her money what she wants. As long as she does not run out of money there no problem 

STaround's picture

Before you could buy  yours?   How long would this take?  Is your condo unique, or are there others on  one floor?

raindrop's picture

My place is the best in the building because it’s a corner unit, far away from the street. It’s very quiet. My parking spot is literally 5 baby steps away from my padio sliding door. She also helped me pick out the paint colors when I had it repainted and I had custom made thermal shades, new appliances and new toilets put it. The previous owners had new hardwood floors installed which still look new, and I get the AC/furnace tuned-up every year and have been told they each are in excellent condition and not very old. 

Monkeysee's picture

I understand not wanting to enable your sister, but your mum is right. It’s her money & she can spend it however she wants, even if you don’t agree with it. 

If you sell to your mum, you’ll come out ahead & she’ll get what she wants. No stairs, less utilities, easy upkeep. At 67 those things are going to be more important to her as years move on. Do you really want to withhold that from her, and the extra cash in your pocket, just to block something that she’s going to end up doing anyways?

I say sell her the place, mind your own business (as difficult as that is), and once you’re out of there disengage completely from them. 

susanm's picture

I would be concerned about selling to her, not because of what she will do with her extra money, but because it seems to be the general rule that something always goes wrong when selling real estate to family.  Another family member gets in their ear and convinces them the price is too high or that they should be able to make payments rather than actually get a mortgage and have an actual sale or some crazy thing has to be done at your expense.  And if the sale does go through, you are not walking away.  You get calls forever when the AC has problems or the plumbing needs to be fixed in "this house that you sold me and you need to take care of."  Not a chance in hell would I ever sell to a family member.  Especially if my goal, like yours, was to disengage completely from them.  By selling to her you will have a permanent connection that will allow her and your sister on her behalf to call and harass you about "your" house.

raindrop's picture

Thank you everyone. I completely left out a piece o information somehow. 

Thanks to lots of overtime and busting my butt, I owe nothing on my condo. I’m planning on moving into an apartment for 1 year when I move to allow me time to house hunt, the lease will start on Aug 1st.  My mom wants to list her place next May. I don’t think her place is going to sell quickly, it needs too much work. I told her I’ll need my money in order to have a chunk to put down on my new place. She then asked if I have enough savings to at least put 20 percent down to which I replied yes. She wants me to use my savings to put down on a place and then when she buys mine, whenever it may be, I can then drop that money on my new mortgage. I told her I’d rather not take out a mortgage, but  if I were to do that, there will be hidden fees, interest, etc, that I don’t want. 

I’m not really that upset about taking out a mortgage. But my gripe is, I’ll be doing all this to help her. And I know for a fact that when my system does buy a new house, mom will help them with a deposit since she’s going to have extra money to do that. I’m over here with my shit together and being asked to take out a mortgage when I don’t need to, and then in a couple years, my sister will ask my mom to help them with a down payment and mom will help. On top of the money she constantly gives them yet makes me pay her back for bringing me McDonald’s. 

susanm's picture

You know that something will come up when it is time to sell her house.  There are plenty of places without stairs but none that can be gamed like it seems is being done here.  You will be in a major financial bind and seriously kicking yourself.  Sell outright to a third party and be done with it.    

futurobrillante99's picture

DO NOT AGREE TO THIS. She either buys it NOW, or you sell it. Do not bank on future events that are not certain and could screw you over or fall apart, messing up your plans.

Your first duty is to take care of your own welfare. I'm sure your condo is not the only first floor condo in existence. When the time is right, your  mom can sell her place and find another condo.

STaround's picture

You never should have told her that you did not need the money.  Never.  But now, just tell her this is not workable.  I guarantee you, you will never get the money back from her.  The repairs on her place will be more expensive than she budgeted.  She will continue to help your sister.  Tell her whatever you want, stock market losses, job issues, you thought  you could borrow from 401K and you cannot.  

shoelaces40's picture

I would be worried to sell to mother because what if she doesn't come through with the money? What if sister suddenly needs extra $ or something and mother prioritizes sister - over giving you the money for the house? It could possibly be a major headache. 

If you do proceed, I would want everything in writing, by a lawyer or at the minimal, a notary. I honestly don't think it's fair or nice of your mother to expect you to take $ out of the mortgage for her convenience. Risky, I guess it depends on how much you trust your mother. 

Gimlet's picture

I can relate to some of this, OP.  My parents have bankrupted themselves helping my siblings, primarily my brother.  I have put myself through college, helped my DD through college, saved up for a house (with my DH) after renting for most of my life, etc.  You can't think about that part.  You can't change it or control the way you mom enables your sister or your unhealthy family dynamics.  For me, I try to find gratitude in the hard lessons I have learned that have made me not want or need my parents to do anything for me. 

You have worked for your condo and your ability to put money down.  You should choose how you want to handle that based on what is best for you.  I am certain there are other one floor condos your mother could buy and this is not the only one.  You have solid financial reasons for your decision and should move forward based on that. 

Perhaps once you are free of those ties, you can find some peace for yourself and reconnect with you dad and SM.  It sounds like they made a wise decision to disengage from the chaos. 

raindrop's picture

Yes, I do hope things will get better between my Dad/SM once I break free. For many years, I have been walking on eggshells around my sister because she has/will prohibit people from seeing or talking to her son if she’s mad at them. But since she had NO friends, her tantrums only last a couple weeks and she’ll bring my nephew over and act like nothing happened. I didn’t want my nephew to suffer over the years, so I’ve kept my mouth shut. But he’s almost 14 and just like his father, and has been for years. No personality, No facial expressions,No thank-you’s, no hugs, no return texts or calls, and he only mumbles, no real conversation. Just like his dad. He has plenty of friends at school and he makes good grades, but around the family, he’s nooo fun. And we have tried, oh have we tried. I think my Dad and SM have just thrown their hands up on the air and disengaged. He may only be 13, but he’s sooooo unpleasant and entitled. He seriously walks around all day with a frown. I do wonder if he is miserable at home, but I’ve finally had enough and stooped caring after my last unanswered text.

 I spoke to my sister a few days ago and flat out asked why her husband doesn’t like any of us when we’ve never done anything to him. Oh no, he likes you. Really? I pointed out that he’s never had a conversation with any of us in 15 years despite us trying, that  he only grunts and walks away. And he doesn’t say hi if we bump into him at the store, he just looks and keeps walking, etc. She got offended  and said: “well I’m sorry his customer service doesn’t meet your approval” followed with,  “He used to be an Army Ranger, next time you see him, instead of saying Hi, try Hey what’s up Ranger Joe“. 

I told her that was the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, and no, I will not call him Ranger Joe. She hung up and I believe blocked me. And for once, I don’t care. Keep me blocked, crazy ass, cuz you and your son are blocked as well too. 

Curious Georgetta's picture

like the most well-grounded person in your family. Her statement to you was an accurate summary of the situation.

Your father cuts of reasonable contact with all of his children because of the behavior of one of his children and you think that reasonable?

Your mom is doing with her own resources what she chooses and you think that to be unreasonable?

If you choose to enter into this real estate  deal with your mom , it should be because it is a win win for both of you. It should have nothing to do with your sister.

If you cannot separate your feelings about your sister from this transaction, you should not enter into the transaction.

Both you and seeemingly your father let your sister 's personality guide and govern far too many of your relationships.

susanm's picture

The mother wants to take possession of the house now and not buy it until she lists and sells her own poorly maintained house next year.  The OP would have to take out a mortgage to get a new place rather than purchase outright from the profit from her already paid-off condo from a third party and hope that everything works out a year from now.  That is a scary prospect and a win only for the mother.

beebeel's picture

Oh my bet is she has plenty of experience, but toxic people are super good at playing dumb when boundaries are crossed.

SteppedOut's picture

Did you read all of the information? Or did you just skim? How on earth did you make this statement (and believe it), if you read the all of the information. Honestly. 

raindrop's picture

I didn’t say I think it’s acceptable that Dad and SM have cut me off too. It’s VERY hurtful, words cannot even explain the hurt when I don’t get a Birthday card or Christmas card and I see pics of them together at family reunions from my cousins fb, family reunions that I didn’t even know about. Hurt aside, I can kind of see how they just wanted to make a clean break. I can understand where they don’t want to play favorites, if they only cut off my sister and still talked to me, she would end up on the psych ward. Thr sad thing is, we were all at one time pretty close-knit. 

STaround's picture

Once you move, dad and SM will visit you. 

ndc's picture

With the new information on the transaction that you've given, I would not do it. There is way too much that could go wrong and way too much that could lead to resentment and further strife in your already dysfunctional family.

Thumper's picture


Sell your place via your realtor. IF your mom qualifies with all the T's crossed and I's dotted then she can jump on your condo. 

In the mean time,  GIVE your mom the name of your agent. They can help your mom find the perfect place for her needs.

Keep this transaction clean, neat and tidy. Play no favorites and carry no guilt. Guilt is only for illegal or immoral actions. Neither of which come into play here.

good luck.



SecondNoMore's picture

It sounds like you are surrounded by people who are so self-involved they lack any awareness of how ridiculous their behavior is. Time for you to do what’s best for you, and I don’t think it’s selling your condo to your mom and getting more enmeshed when you want to create distance.

TBH, there is no excuse for your dad’s behavior. You don’t write off a child because the other child is bad; I don’t care how unstable your sister is. I think that’s the part of your post I find most upsetting and I’m sorry that has happened.

Siemprematahari's picture

As far as the dad I get what your saying about him cutting off everyone but wonder if this was his way of removing himself from all the dysfunction that is going on. Hopefully once OP moves away she can contact dad again and they can start to rebuild their relationship. My wish is that they do.

flmomma08's picture

That's a dilemma. I would also want to help my mom out, but I would be afraid something woudl come up and then I would be on the hook for both houses.

Side note, why the heck does your sister need help from your mom with her kids braces when they make double the income your mom makes?

raindrop's picture


Had a nice talk with my mom about everything. She said she would try to take out a second mortgage to pay for mine while waiting for her place to sell. A few hours later she called to tell me she’s no longer interested and she wants to stay in her house. I told her to make sure this is what she wants because I’ll be listing it soon and there is no turning back. I told her if she were to list her house soon, it will likely sell by the time I’m looking to buy a place, and then she will not need a second mortgage. She asked me what I will do if she lists it soon and it sells quickly? I’d move all of the stuff that I’m not moving into my new apartment  and put it in storage. She was quiet and then again  she said no, she hates moving. And what about  in a few years if  your knees are really problematic? Her response, ill deal with it then. I told her maybe she can rent a first floor apartment somewhere at that time and she was quiet. Oh well.  I no longer feel guilty. I tried to help without screwing myself. but she’s rejecting my help. Ok then, don’t come a crying in a few years (but oh she will)

THANK YOU to EVERYONE who took the time to reply!!! 

Rags's picture

Keep calling them all on the bullshit, rub your mom's, sister's, BIL's and Nephews noses in the toxic crap. Eventually the stench will burn through and  your mom will gain clarity.  Whether your sister, BIL and nephew every do.... is not likely but at least their crap will be known and others can protect themselves from the shallow and polluted gene pool that your sister and BIL represent.

stepmominhiding's picture

Your mom's money=your moms business... stay out of a grown woman's business. If she wanted to give the money to a homeless person,  go gambling,  pay a gigalo, get breast implants, hire a stripper,  give your sister money,  it's her business, not yours, stay out of it. 

raindrop's picture

I agree, but then She needs to stop putting her hand out to me for things. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is when it becomes my business. I’m peter. 

raindrop's picture

Another thing that is SO ANNOYING is how my sister flaunts the things the my mom bought for her as if she bought them herself. For example: If my mom helps sister with nephews braces, sister will post all kinds of brace face pics and comment as if they made sacrifices for the braces, etc.  

fuck them all, really.  My contact with mom is really going to dwindle down once I move and sister is blocked and I am pretty sure she’s blocked me, too. The only thing is, IF something were to happen to my mom, I’ll have NO way of knowing about it. I’m not sure what to do about that part. 

Rags's picture

Broadcasting the facts will fix this.  Make sure the audience hears the facts.  "Dear Sis, Are you planning on paying mom back for the sacrifice you made begging her for the money for your kid's braces? Some personal sacrifice that you made there you deadbeat."