Fix your credit
Some rebound buyers' only credit impairment was the foreclosure. These buyers can repair their credit faster than would-be buyers whose credit history contains other issues, Carpenter explains. Either way, buyers must "get their credit house in order," paying off or settling old accounts and bank judgments, he says.
"Your first objective is that since you're going to have to wait, make sure the rest of your credit is clean. That way, when you move into the phase when you're almost out of your penalty period, you'll know it's just a matter of waiting," he says.
A foreclosure remains on a credit report for seven years, though the negative impact will fade as time passes, according to myFICO.com, a website operated by the FICO credit-scoring company.
An established history of paying other bills on time can help. The website explains that a foreclosure is "a single negative item," which does less damage in isolation than in conjunction with other late or missed payments.
High current debt relative to income also can be a problem because lenders won't approve a loan if the borrower's debt-to-income ratio exceeds their guidelines.