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Common Mistakes that First-Time Home Buyers Make: An Interview with Ben Johnston of Cherry Creek Mortgage Company

By Ben Johnston

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

I work with Cherry Creek Mortgage company to help home buyers and homeowners choose the best loan for their needs. Whether buying a home for the first time or doing a refinance, we offer the best loan products available.

What is one of the biggest regrets that first-time home buyers have about home loans?

I think it is important for first-time home buyers to know and understand all of their options prior to choosing a home loan. Some companies do not offer all of the best loan programs, therefore the programs are never offered to the home buyers as options. I assess each individual situation and make sure to offer and explain each available program to my clients.

What would you recommend that first-time home buyers should do to prepare for buying a house?

I have many resources that I offer to first-time home buyers so that they can conduct their own research and educate themselves. I also make myself available at all times to answer questions and explain the in's and out's of all topics related to buying their first home.

How important is it to know what price range you can afford? How can people calculate what that is?

This is probably the most important conversation that I have with my clients. The purchase price that I can qualify a buyer for on paper, according to guidelines, and the payment they are comfortable with, are two different things. I am always available for pre-approval appointments via Skype, online application, phone application or face-to-face.

What are a few of the most common mistakes you've seen first-time home buyers make when it comes to the mortgage process?

Organization. In order for your home loan to go smoothly, you need to have all of your paperwork (pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, etc.) in one place and ready to give your loan officer. Another big mistake is making large purchases during your loan process (buying a car or financing furniture). Any type of new financing during the loan process can affect your home loan.

Do you have any tips to help first-time home buyers in California get the best loan terms?

Work with someone that you like and trust, and feel free to shop around with a few different loan officers. There is a 30-day window when pulling credit with more than one lender will not damage your credit. Remember, all lenders offer the same interest rates for the most part, so don't feel the need to go with someone you don't work well with because they are guaranteeing you the best interest rate.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

I can be contacted by phone at (916) 541-5225 and by email at You can also read my online reviews at and

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