FHA allows borrowers to be eligible for a new FHA loan even if they just recently sold their principal residence with a short sale. Almost every lender will tell you there is a 3 year waiting period as most lenders will not allow this program to be used due to credit overlays they have. PrimeLending does allow this program to be used. However, there are specific guidelines that must be met for borrowers to purchase again without a waiting period.
Guidelines that must be met in order to purchase sooner than 3 years FHA
Borrowers are not eligible for a new FHA mortgage if they pursued a short sale agreement on his or her principal residence simply to:
Take advantage of declining market condition
Purchase at a reduced price a similar or superior property within a reasonable commuting distance
All mortgage payments due on the prior mortgage were made within the month due for the 12 month period preceding the short sale
All installment debt payments for the same period were also made within the month due
Borrowers in default of their mortgage at the time of their short sale (or pre-foreclosure sale) are not eligible for a new FHA mortgage for three years from the date of the pre-foreclosure sale.
As you may have determined already from reading these guidelines that interpretation is subjective to how an underwriter views a borrower's reasoning and motivation. It is prudent to secure loan approval prior to making an offer on any property.