Good home hunting.
If you need help finding a CDPE agent in Arizona, let me know and I will be happy to give you a referral.
Then you should attempt to secure a working relationship with a real estate agent who can assist and represent you in your home searching and buying process.
All the best!
The more certain bet, Webster, is a foreclosure. The bank already owns the home and is motivated to sell. You will generally receive a response on your offer within a couple of days and can close escrow in a reasonable time frame.
Short sales are different in that the lender has to approve the sale and their process to decide whether or not to accept a short sale can vary from a handful of weeks to several months. You and the seller may agree on a sales price but the lender either may not answer or may demand a higher sales price to approve the sale.
If you're in the mood to roll the dice and see what the lender might say, then a short sale may be worth pursuing but it's the more complicated road to hoe.
The seller's bank has to approve the sale after a contract with the buyer is accepted because the home is being sold for less than the balance owed on the seller's mortgage balance.
For a complete explanation: http://www.arizonahomesland.com/arizonashortsales.html
Arizona Homes and Land