My wife and I are 25-months into an FHA loan (we received a first time home buyer tax credit), and I seem to recall that we cannot sell or rent the property for at least 36-months. That wasn't a problem when we inked the agreement, but there have been some reversals at my workplace, and I am becoming concerned I may be laid off in the coming months.
I believe I can find a new job without too much trouble; however, since I have a niche skill (GIS programming) I am not confident I can find something in the same city/state. I recall we are required to "return" the tax credit if this does not remain our primary residence, but after a cursory search, I have not found a FAQ or discussion of options for people in this situation.
Does anyone have some helpful experience or insights? I think we would lose money by selling, so we would prefer to rent the property if possible.
Thanks in advance!
@littleadv's answer is both informative and helpful, but I'm waiting to "accept" it until I'm relatively sure nobody will emerge with a loophole. For example, if the IRS designates a primary residence, could I move a few months ahead of my wife and sublet a place whilst retaining our present utilities and banking; then, once our 36-month obligation is complete, my wife rents out our current home, joins me elsewhere, and we get a different place (i.e. not the sublet)? Finally if that may be legal, ..is it actually honest? It seems like a very fuzzy line.
These links were helpful toward understanding the meaning of "Primary Residence": http://johnrdundon.com/dwelling-unit-vs-primary-residence/ http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20010129_residence.htm