Debate as Niece Buys Aunt's Cheap 5-Bed Home Knowing Sister 'Needs' It More

The internet is divided over a woman buying her aunt's five-bedroom home for well below market value while her sister is also looking to buy a house for her large family and in her words "needs it more."

In a post shared on Mumsnet earlier this month, under the username Anonquestion125, she explained that her elderly aunt, who she and her husband are very close to, is thinking of moving away to be with her sister, and doesn't want to sell her "beautiful" house to "strangers," so she offered it to her for a much lower price than its market value.

According to World Population Review, the median price of houses sold in the U.S. in 2022 is $428,700 and the average sales price is higher, at $507,800. The state with the lowest median price is West Virginia, at less than $130,000, and the highest is Hawaii with a median price of nearly $850,000.

When the poster's sister found out, she was very upset, saying the poster knew that she and her husband were also looking into buying a house and that she should have brought the offer to her first since she has a larger family and needs it more. The sister has four children while the poster has one.

woman buying aunt's home sparks debate
Stock image of two sisters arguing. The internet is divided over a woman buying her aunt's house cheaply when her sister says she needs it more. Getty Images

The poster's aunt said that the sister could have the house if the poster didn't want it, but it's completely up to her and she doesn't want to get involved any further.

She said: "My main thought on why we should have the house is that my aunt had said she didn't want to sell the house to strangers. Yes, my sister isn't technically a stranger, but she very rarely ever goes to visit our aunt (maybe twice a year).

"Meanwhile, me [and] my husband, and our daughter visit my aunt regularly. Usually twice a month. My husband goes by even more often to help her with any heavy-duty chores or to fix things."

Beverly Hills psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman told Newsweek that if the poster knew that her sister was looking to buy a house she should have mentioned the aunt's plan to give her the house before it was a done deal, although the aunt had no obligation to give her sister the house because she was not as caring or loving to her as the poster was.

"Also, [the poster] should not feel guilty about her aunt's choice—unless she purposely kept it a secret until it was too late. Just because [her sister] has a big family doesn't entitle her to the house. It's the aunt's house and her choice.

"[Her sister] should content herself with having a big family, which apparently [the poster] doesn't have. The moral of the story is: this is what happens when you don't keep in close contact with your relatives and show them you care. Don't expect to get more love than you give."

Most of the 1,129 users who voted on the [Am I Being Unreasonable] poll agreed the poster wasn't being unreasonable, with over 81 percent of votes, but not all the 259 users who left comments in the thread agreed.

One user, Superwash, commented: "You would be very wrong to do anything but encourage [your] aunt to put it on the open market and sell it for what it's worth. I guess it depends if you want to take advantage of an elderly (?) widow and ruin any relationship with your sister."

Brigante9 said: "You buy it, your sister resents you and goes no contact. She buys it and you regret it and wish you hadn't been so altruistic. Buy it, your sister is virtually a stranger to her." And CeciliaMars added: "I can see why your sister is upset, but she offered it to you first, and you clearly have the closer bond with your aunt. I would hold firm."

Another user, OhmygodDont, wrote: "Nobody gets rich being everyone's best friend. If she had made the effort with the aunty she would [have] been offered it first she hasn't so she hasn't. End of. You want to buy and would be stupid to turn down an amazing chance." And Floralnomad said: "Neither should buy it, encourage your aunt to sell at market value."

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.

If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.