Were you current on your payments at the time of the short sale? If so, you may be able to buy now. The best thing to do is to check with a local mortgage banker. I don't mean one of the big banks, but a small, local firm that specializes in writing mortgages and only mortgages. They will look at your specific situation and tell you what you can do today, whether you need to take steps to improve your situation, what those steps are and how long it will be before you can hope to buy. I work with Annie Mac Mortgage here in Morris County, I would be glad to put you in touch with my contact there if you email me at email@example.com. He's really wonderful, if you CAN get a mortgage, he will help you get one and if not he will tell you exactly what to do and follow up to make sure you stay on track so you will be able to buy as soon as possible.