Mortgages can be approved as early as one day after a short sale but the down payment requirements and terms are onerous. San Diego private money lenders will make loans the day after a short sale but usually require at least 30% of the purchase price as a down payment.
Agency conforming loans (formerly known as conventional loans) can be secured in as little as two years after a short sale if the borrower has at least 20% of the purchase price for a down payment. If the borrower has less than 20% down payment, then the waiting period extends to five years.
FHA loans require that the borrower wait at least three years, like a foreclosure, unless the previous loan had no late payments and the deficiency balance was paid-in-full (which sort of defeats the purpose of a shor sale).
VA loans can be secured as soon as two years after a short sale unless the seller is an active-dutymember using the HAP program (offerered to active-duty members who had a permanenent change of station <PCS>)