Your local nursery workers are correct. I doubt that the oleander will harm your foundation as it forms more of a clump of stems than a large trunk and large surface roots like a tree does. However I can't think of a reason to plant it 1-2 feet from the foundation. As it grows it will become wider making it really tight up against the home. That plant needs light and should probably be about 4 feet or more from the home at a minimum.
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