How long do you need to wait before applying for a mortgage after short sale? According to a very informative Forbes.com piece by Gerri Detweiler, it all depends. You might qualify sooner than you think. Generally, it takes two to four years before a bank will be interested in loaning you the money for another home. That’s just about enough time to get your finances together, clear up outstanding debts, and find a home you can afford. Here are some factors that can help you qualify sooner rather than later:

Resolving substantial outstanding debts. These are a deal breaker for most conventional loans. This is one good reason to use some of your relocation assistance money to pay off creditors.
Requesting a loan that has a low LTV (loan-to-value) ratio. If you can scrape together a sizable down payment, you’re in the best shape.

The whole article is full of good advice for cleaning up after a short sale so you can start over with a new home once the smoke clears