B-164457, DEC. 12, 1968

B-164457: Dec 12, 1968

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JR.: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 30. YOUR CLOSING STATEMENT IS DATED AUGUST 12. WHICH IS MORE THAN 1 YEAR AFTER THE DATE OF YOUR TRANSFER. YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF CLOSING COSTS SINCE YOU CONTRACTED TO PURCHASE YOUR HOME AND PLACED THE TENTATIVE CLOSING COSTS IN ESCROW WITHIN 1 YEAR OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF YOUR TRANSFER. OUR OPINION IS THAT THERE IS NO BASIS UNDER THE CIRCULAR FOR THE VIEW THAT THE SIGNING OF THE CUSTOMARY AGREEMENT FOR THE PURCHASE OF REAL ESTATE IS TANTAMOUNT TO "SETTLEMENT" AS THAT TERM IS ORDINARILY USED AND UNDERSTOOD. 47 COMP. WE HAVE HELD THAT FOR THE PURPOSE OF SECTION 4 OF THE CIRCULAR THE PURCHASE OF A LOT AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A HOUSE THEREON MAY BE VIEWED AS A SINGLE TRANSACTION INVOLVING THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE.

B-164457, DEC. 12, 1968

TO MR. GEORGE H. LUND, JR.:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF OCTOBER 30, 1968, REQUESTING RECONSIDERATION OF OUR SETTLEMENT OF JULY 9, 1968, WHICH DISALLOWED REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES INCURRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE OF A DWELLING INCIDENT TO YOUR TRANSFER TO NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, ON APRIL 17, 1967.

YOU ENTERED INTO A CONTRACT ON FEBRUARY 3, 1968, TO PURCHASE A DWELLING TO BE BUILT ON LOTS HELD ON OPTION TO PURCHASE PENDING APPROVAL BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION (VA) TO BUILD. FOLLOWING VA APPROVAL ON MARCH 21, 1968, YOU APPARENTLY PLACED THE SUM OF $957 IN ESCROW TO COVER TENTATIVE CLOSING COSTS. YOUR CLOSING STATEMENT IS DATED AUGUST 12, 1968, WHICH IS MORE THAN 1 YEAR AFTER THE DATE OF YOUR TRANSFER. YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO REIMBURSEMENT OF CLOSING COSTS SINCE YOU CONTRACTED TO PURCHASE YOUR HOME AND PLACED THE TENTATIVE CLOSING COSTS IN ESCROW WITHIN 1 YEAR OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF YOUR TRANSFER. IN ADDITION YOU ASSERT THAT THE CIRCULAR DOES NOT REQUIRE A TRANSFERRED EMPLOYEE TO OCCUPY HIS NEW HOME WITHIN THE TIME LIMITATION SPECIFIED.

OUR OPINION IS THAT THERE IS NO BASIS UNDER THE CIRCULAR FOR THE VIEW THAT THE SIGNING OF THE CUSTOMARY AGREEMENT FOR THE PURCHASE OF REAL ESTATE IS TANTAMOUNT TO "SETTLEMENT" AS THAT TERM IS ORDINARILY USED AND UNDERSTOOD. 47 COMP. GEN. ---- (B-164383, JUNE 27, 1968), COPY ENCLOSED. THE TERM REFERS TO THE CLOSING OF A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION BY THE PAYMENT OF THE CONTRACT PRICE CONSIDERATION, THE TRANSFER OR CONVEYANCE OF TITLE BY DEED OR OTHERWISE, AND THE EXECUTION OF SUCH DOCUMENTS AS CREATE OR EVIDENCE THE LIENS SECURED BY THE REAL ESTATE CONVEYED. ORDINARILY THE CIRCULAR CONTEMPLATES THE USUAL, NORMAL AND CUSTOMARY TRANSACTION BY WHICH A PURCHASER ACQUIRES TITLE TO IMPROVED REAL ESTATE TO BE USED AS HIS RESIDENCE. B-164638, AUGUST 13, 1968, COPY ENCLOSED.

WE HAVE HELD THAT FOR THE PURPOSE OF SECTION 4 OF THE CIRCULAR THE PURCHASE OF A LOT AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF A HOUSE THEREON MAY BE VIEWED AS A SINGLE TRANSACTION INVOLVING THE PURCHASE OF A RESIDENCE. WE FURTHER HELD THAT IF THE EMPLOYEE HAS ACCEPTED THE COMPLETED RESIDENCE WITHIN THE TIME LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 4.1D REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES OTHERWISE ALLOWABLE UNDER SECTION 4 WOULD BE PROPER. B-164044, JUNE 7, 1968, COPY ENCLOSED.

IN THE INSTANT CASE REIMBURSEMENT TO YOU WAS NOT DISALLOWED ON THE BASIS THAT YOU HAD NOT OCCUPIED YOUR RESIDENCE WITHIN THE 1-YEAR PERIOD. THE DISALLOWANCE WAS PREDICATED UPON THE ,SETTLEMENT DATE" ON YOUR RESIDENCE. THAT DATE WAS AUGUST 12, 1968, OR MORE THAN 1 YEAR AFTER YOU REPORTED FOR DUTY AT YOUR NEW STATION.