For non-VA short sales, there are no written instruction, to speak of, however; we must determine if the veteran is a satisfactory credit risk, that is, if you were payment being made on time prior to the short sale or if you were not. - that is actually verbatim from VA's Regional Loan Center in Phoenix sent to me back in April.
If you were on time with your payments, and you aren't trying to take advantage of declining market conditions, then you likely would be fine 1 day afterwards to buy with VA financing.
If you were not on time with the payments, then depending on the severity of the mortgage late payments and the reason behind them (relocating, medical situation, felt like going on vacation instead of paying the mortgage, etc.) it could still be as little as 1 day afterwards, to 1 year afterwards, up to 2 years afterwards (since VA only requires 2 years after a foreclosure).
FHA financing is the loan program that requires 3 years after a short sale in some situations - you can read FHA's guideline on it at http://www.fhaoutreach.gov/FHAHandbook/prod/infomap.asp?addr
however soon that website's information is relocating to hud.gov so the link probably won't be valid for long.
Shane Milne | Loan Officer in Orange County, CA | NMLS #81195
Direct local #'s: 949-273-4161 or 646-257-4842
Lending in all 50 states, all types of mortgages