Request for Real Estate Expenses

B-201652: Sep 1, 1981

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An advance decision was requested as to whether an employee could be reimbursed real estate expenses associated with the sale of his residence. The employee was transferred and rented a residence at his new duty station, commuting weekends to be with his family which resided at his old residence. After the first transfer, he was transferred again. After he reported to this new duty station, he sold his residence and submitted a voucher for real estate expenses connected with the sale of his residence. From the record, it was clear that the employee intended to sell his property at the time of his first transfer. Reimbursement of expenses for the sale of a residence at a first duty station are not precluded merely because the employee is transferred to a third duty station prior to the sale of the residence, so long as the sale takes place within 1 year, or 2 years if an extension is granted. A successive transfer does not automatically extinguish all of the rights an employee had at the time of the first transfer. The employee put his residence up for sale when he was informed of his first transfer, and the residence was sold 5 months after the first transfer. Accordingly, the residence sale expenses are payable in accordance with the first set of transfer orders that the employee received.