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Buying housing from a bestie

Dear Annie: A year ago, my best friend, “Tia,” got her real estate license, and she has been working very hard to build her clientele. She has succeeded in selling two homes and being the buyer’s agent for three.

My husband and I want to buy a home soon, and I’m conflicted on whether to hire her as our agent. She’s a wonderful friend, and we’ve been through thick and thin together.

On the one hand, I want to do everything I can to support my friend in her new career. I think she has excellent qualities and would do a good job for us. I also worry that she would be hurt if we didn’t choose her.

On the other hand, my husband is nervous about her lack of experience, and I worry that if we disagreed in this transaction, it would affect our friendship negatively.

What do you think I should do? — Mixing Friends with Business

Dear Mixing Friends with Business: Since Tia is a wonderful friend, and you’ve been through thick and thin together, take her to lunch and walk her through the entire situation. Explain that your friendship is more important to you than a single house purchase. Tell her of your husband’s concerns.

Then, you can propose one of two options: You and your husband can hire someone else, or she can team up with an experienced real estate agent and you and your husband can work with two agents in buying your house. Having someone you can trust who is representing you is helpful, and having someone with vast experience is worth gold. Good luck with your new home — and with your enduring friendship.

Dear Annie: I need to put this out there, even if I’m overreacting and it is not my place. Recently, friends divorced, and some members of my family took different sides. Specifically, I became the ear for the wife to vent to when things got rough, while my sister-in-law, “Rebecca,” became the ear for the husband, “Sam,” to vent to.

I tried to stay out of the details and just offer encouragement during the rough patch of my friend’s life. However, details of Sam’s stepping out with other girls came to light.

Rebecca does not think Sam did anything wrong because he said that when he met with these girls, nothing physical ever happened. Rebecca and Sam are constantly hanging out together, and she has killed whatever friendship she had with the wife.

The divorce has been finalized, and there is still tension among all parties involved. Recently, I’ve noticed that Rebecca has taken a much more active role in her friendship with Sam. I would not care if Rebecca and Sam got together if it weren’t for the fact that she is married with four kids.

She has been constantly texting him while ignoring her own family, despite being told repeatedly that her close relationship with Sam has been raising questions about whether she is cheating on her husband.

Rebecca has complained about her husband working long hours, but the moment he had a day off, she left him at home with their kids so she could go to a local date spot with Sam. Thankfully, there was an additional guy friend there.

My worry is that she is going to be in the same spot as our friends were recently because her husband will think it was too much. Her husband doesn’t like Sam, either. If a fight or divorce is on the horizon, she will still be part of our family because she is my husband’s sister.

Is there anything I can do or say to alert her to the dangers that she may face, or am I sticking my nose somewhere it shouldn’t belong? — Concerned and Worried Sister

Dear Concerned and Worried Sister: Rebecca is playing with fire, flirting with Sam and ignoring her husband. Since Rebecca is your husband’s sister, you might ask him to talk to her for the sake of the four kids, if nothing else.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now. Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Go to http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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