Wait Just One Year After A Short Sale To Buy A Home Again?


One positive thing about the high number of short sales / foreclosures in the last few years is that at some point in the future, there will be a number of people who are eligible to buy a home again – and many of these people have good credit, they were just caught up in a situation where they had significant negative equity and a short term cash flow problem.

In fact, it isn’t uncommon to see someone who had to short sell their home or go through foreclosure, but has perfect credit otherwise.

So one of the more popular questions that many people are starting to ask is:

How long do you have to wait after a short sale or foreclosure to buy a home again?

Buying A Home After A Short Sale In As Little As One Year

At least one lender is currently letting people buy a home only 12 months after a short sale or a foreclosure or a deed-in-lieu as long as the person buying a home was a non-purchasing spouse on the previous loan that went into foreclosure or short sale.

Here is a simple example scenario of how this potentially could work:

  • In 2008, a husband bought a house in only his name. He was the only one on title and the only one on the mortgage.
  • In January 2010, he short sold the house.
  • In January 2011, the wife is eligible to buy a house without the husband (assuming that she has the income, credit and assets to qualify).

Depending on whether or not a short sale or foreclosure happened in the past, many lenders will tell you that you must wait at least 24-36 months after the event. Now at least one (and they are a large lender, not a small niche lender) will help a non-purchasing spouse buy another home after a short sale in as little as 12 months.

If you are one of the people who has had a short sale or foreclosure in the last few years, be sure to keep abreast of the guidelines lenders are requiring when you can buy a house again: you might be surprised how long you don’t have to wait. Also: expect these guidelines from each lender to change regularly over the next few years as more and more people get to the point where they are ready to buy a house again after a short sale or foreclosure.


About Author

Justin McHood is a Mortgage Commentator living in the Phoenix, Arizona area and is happy to answer any mortgage-related questions that you may have.


  1. How do i find out who the lender is that will let me refinance my home after a short sale? I was longer than 12 months ago but less than 24 months ago. Please help! Thanks. My current credit score is around 640.

  2. I have the same question as David. We are looking to refinance our current home. Short sold another. Ready for a full doc refi.

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