As summer winds down, there may be some change happening in the real estate market.

As seen in San Jose, sellers are lowering the prices of their homes, and some economists think a substantial cooling period is possible.

The data backs it up as nearly 10 percent of listings saw a price reduction in June, up nearly 3 percentage points from a year ago. Other areas, including San Francisco and Oakland, also experienced price cuts this summer.

Because of these indicators, economists believe a slowdown is probable in the coming year. Prices are still expected to climb, albeit at a slower pace.

If you are considering taking advantage of this slower market and purchasing a home in the Bay Area, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Get Approved for a Loan First

Though it may be tempting to jump right into shopping for available homes, you will have better purchasing power if you get approved for a loan first. In the high-priced markets of the Bay Area, many home buyers choose to go with a Jumbo Loan. A Jumbo Loan, also known as a non-conforming loan, describes a mortgage loan exceeding the conforming loan limits set by Freddie Mac (FHLMC) and Fannie Mae (FNMA). In most U.S. counties, the conforming loan limit is $417,000, anything over that is a jumbo loan. In the San Francisco Bay area, the limit amount varies by county and can range from $453,100 to $679,650. If your desired loan amount exceeds the non-conforming loan limits in your county, a Jumbo Loan will cover the full amount.

 Financial Preparedness

Buying a home requires financial resources for large expenses like a down payment and closing costs. Buying a home also means you’ll have a monthly mortgage. Other associated costs, such as property taxes, HOAs and maintenance will also factor in. Buyers must be prepared for this financial change.

Long-Term Goals

Renting vs. buying is a factor for many people, especially in higher-priced markets. Think about your willingness to stay in the area and your desire for more control of customizing your home. These questions will help determine whether you’re ready to leap into homeownership.

Family Needs

Whether you’re looking for more space, a bigger yard or a shorter commute, think about the features your family seeks. Answering this question will help narrow your search.

When you are ready, Guarantee Mortgage’s incredible staff and in-depth knowledge of the Bay Area market will put you in the driver’s seat despite the market’s fierce competition. For 20-plus years, Guarantee Mortgage has been helping families finance their homes and navigate the intricacies of financing in the Bay Area real estate market. We fund more than $2 billion in loans each year and want to help you fund your dream as well.