Short sales are stil properties that are for sale. The difference is that the sales contract has to be approved by the lender since the property is being sold for LESS than what the seller owes the bank.
And yes, you can still purchase it with an FHA loan, etc.
I have attached a link to a quick read ... my blog article "Are You a Good Candidate for Buying a Short Sale?"... more
Ivyquietstorm, glad to see that you have saved dilegently and are ready to take the next step--buying your first home. I agree with what the majority is saying here, get YOUR OWN buyers agent. If you find a home listed with a realtor, that realtor will be working for the seller and will have the sellers best interest in mind. A BUYERS AGENT will be working for you to get you the best deal. Ask around, interview 2-3 agents and let them know exactly what you are looking for.
As for homes you see on Trulia, the information here is good for research but may not be accurate and up to date. Your buyers agent will have more accurate information available. Best wishes in your search for a new home.
I hope you found this answer helpfu;l.... more