Agents just should not ever recommend an inspector. When they don;t find something the agent is then facing blame. As far as the short sale, once the sale goes thru, if the home is in the same neighborhood and condition as your home then it is an acceptable comp. What people don;t realize is that when they buy a home for $150K in a $200K neighborhood guess what the new neighborhood market price is.... If you pay $150K for a house that is now what it is worth. All of these transactions is what is declining the market. I know its very upsetting, try to move on.
I would simply go to a community bank and apply for a line of credit using the home as collateral.
Answer it this way. Is your income going to go up when the interest rate goes up? That is something you really need to consider. Interest rates are so low right now.
We still have our first time buyers, its the move up buyers we are missing. People who already own a home maybe a starter home are not moving. They are hesitant because of the economy and they will not profit on the sale of their home as they had originally projected. This gives them less money to go into the move up home however I must add that they can make up the loss on the buying side because all homes have dropped in value to some degree.
It's an excellent time to buy. Prices of homes are down and interest rates are at record lows.
Mortgage brokers all have different investors and another company may have an investor that takes higher risk at a slightly higher rate. You may also want to try a small community bank that will keep your loan in house. You should have a pre-qualification letter before making an offer.
Contact your mortgage company and advise them of your total situation. They may be willing to work with you on a short sale. Contact a real estate professional about the true fair market value of your home.