How much can I borrow? Are there any special requirements from my lender?
The process is the same, contact a lender, bank or mortgage broker, get qualified for a loan, ask for a pre approval letter and go shopping.
Short sales can be exasperating, as you have to get not only the seller to agree on the sales price, but the first (and potentially second) lien holder as well. Expect a drawn out negotiation process and loan closing. I strongly suggest using a buyer's agent who is well versed in the short sale process. The actual loan process is not much different than with a non distressed sale, but there may be time constraints (lender takes a month to approve contract, then wants commitment in a week, etc). Buyers can also find themselves bidding on the home even after the initial contract is signed as the lienholder will sometimes come back with "is this your best offer" even after the buyer and seller have agreed on a price. In some instances, homes have been foreclosed on during the process of a short sale. Bottom line is that you may get a great deal, just be prepared for putting more effort into the process.
The process to buying a short sale is similar to buying a home. the loans are the same. The difference is the time it takes to purchase and your lender will require a copy of the short sale letter from the other lender. Please be advise that short sales take on average by a good agent 45 days extra prior to starting escrow. Also be advised the odds of a short sale closing is around 50%. Not all sellers are granted permission to sell their property for less. The do need to qualify for it.