There are some hick-ups with the IRS as to claiming/repaying – see article LA Times -. What if you bought the house and ended up buying a house that was not the perfect fit?
Depending on what tax credit you used, it might be worth exploring what the consequences are for you, either selling and buying something else or turning the house into a rental.
The first one in 2008 -$7,500-, for those who purchased homes in 2008, was more like an interest free loan. It had to be paid back in 15 years. See link.
The second one in 2009/May 2010, didn’t have to be paid back but you had to live in the house for 36 months. For both programs, in case you either sell, loose the home to foreclosure, do a short sale, convert the home into a rental, i.e. it stops being your primary residence, you have to pay the credit back. There are some exceptions/rules. See link.
Sidenote: there were different programs for the purchase of new homes during that time. See link.
Depending on your situation, the option of repaying might not be that bad. It’s probably wise to talk to your CPA and discuss numbers with him, however, you might be pleasantly surprised. You may have losses or other situations that offset the ‘gain’ of the credit, if not, maybe paying tax on $8,000 is not the worst option. Remember there are tax benefits of buying a home. In Sonoma County, home prices have come down a bit more, in general, we lost about 10% last year. Thinking about this, that will offset the fact that you have to pay back the credit.
And last but not least: Living in Sonoma County is great, the next Barrel Tasting weekends are the first 2 weekends in March, it’s the 34th one 😉