If you have a enough money set aside to offer a double security deposit, that may help to alleviate the owners fears.
It is true that your credit score will recover more quickly from a shortsale than a foreclosure.
Under current guidelines, you would be able to purchase 2 years after the shortsale , for a foreclosure that time frame is 3 years and if there is a bankruptcy involved the 3 years starts after the the bankruptcy has been completed.
Please talk to a Realtor trained and certified to do a shortsale before making any decisions, look for the CDPE designation after their name.
I know this is a confusing process and I would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have 443-807-0419