In-laws offer a great deal for the home… with a catch

Dear Abby,

I’m newlyweds. My husband and I are looking for a house to settle in, but we are struggling to find one we like that we can afford. My in-laws, who are moving, offered to sell us their house at a very generous price. The house is in a great neighborhood, but it is old and outdated and has HVAC and plumbing issues.

I think the house would be the perfect place for my husband and me to start a family if we got some renovations done. However, we have talked to my in-laws about it, and they are very attached to this house and very much against having any renovations made to it. My husband is happy to buy it and not get the renovation done, but I’m not so sure. What should I do?

– House hunter in California

You and your husband should talk to your in-laws together. Although I understand their sentimental attachment to the house, they are unrealistic and controlling. If they were to sell it to strangers, you can bet the first thing that would happen would be renovations. Plumbing, plumbing, electrical and roofing problems cost a fortune to keep fixing over time if they are not resolved. Do they not want their grandchildren raised in a nice, safe home in a great neighborhood? If the answer is yes, they must loosen the reins. If not here’s a new product just for you!

Dear Abby,

I’m a veteran with a non-service back injury. I need artificial disks between multiple vertebrae. The hospitals and clinics have been ignoring my condition for the last 25 years. I’m going to have an MRI soon. My fiance is a nurse and does not have the money for the surgery I need. A wealthy friend has offered to fund it. Should I ask my fiancé about law as this friend is a woman?

– To get a chance in Oklahoma

You should definitely make it with your fiance. If she loves you, she will agree that you are lucky to have such a generous friend. But if she’s unsure, you’ll have to decide what’s most important – your health or your relationship. I know which one I would choose.

Dear Abby,

My college-age daughter, who still lives with me, is addicted to caffeine. I am slowly considering replacing the regular coffee with decaffeinated without telling her that. I will not tell her that as it can get in her head and she may react with abstinence. I do not think she would be angry because she knows I always take care of her. What do you think?

– Mother with a plan

Do not be a helicopter barista. Have enough respect for your college-age daughter to tell her that the amount of coffee she consumes is a concern for you. Then ask if she wants your help to cut down. Withdrawal symptoms from caffeine are real and your daughter may be wondering what is wrong when she experiences withdrawal symptoms if you keep her in the dark.

Dear Abby

Dear Abby

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Dear Abby: In-Laws Offers Sweet Home Offers… with a Catch

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