Derek Hill

NMLS# 50183

Branch Manager, Producing

Derek Hill
Branch Manager, Producing

NMLS# 50183
State Lic: MT # 50183;
687 SE 1st Avenue
Canby, OR 97013
Branch: (503) 266-5800
Mobile: (503) 358-4317
Fax: (503) 266-5801
Rotary Club of Canby, Past President

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It’s all about service at Academy Mortgage, and our company has been meeting the needs of homebuyers across the United States since 1988. I joined Academy because of its strong reputation for integrity-based mortgage lending, its unwavering commitment to responsible lending practices, and for its broad portfolio of mortgage solutions and tools.

Since joining Academy, I have helped many individuals and families attain the dream of homeownership. Whether you want to buy a new home or refinance an existing mortgage, I will provide a customized solution for you at competitive rates. No brokering, no middleman, no hassle, no surprises.

Academy is a direct lender, which means that my Branch and Regional Offices are equipped to complete the entire loan process in-house—all loan processing, underwriting, closings, and funding are handled locally. As a result, we have a proven track record of closing loans as quickly and efficiently as possible.

I will be in control of your loan file from start to finish, and I will be up-to-date on the status of your loan at all times. I understand the importance of maintaining continuous communication throughout the loan process and commit to providing you accurate, timely, and honest mortgage advice.

I invite you to put us to the test. Let me show you how simple and easy securing a mortgage can be.

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We are proud to be one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country. We achieved this distinction by continually providing exceptional customer service and by following responsible lending practices, especially in today’s rapidly changing economy.Adam Kessler, CEO, Academy Mortgage

NMLS# 50183

State Lic: MT: 50183;

Corp Lic: MT: 3113;


How to beat the competition this homebuying season

The housing market is a competitive one, requiring prospective buyers to be on top of their finances and paperwork. Indecision or a failure to present certain documentation can mean the difference between getting the house of their dreams or having to continue their search elsewhere. Here are five ways people can beat the competition this season:

1. Get pre-approved

Unless you're a member of the small population of Americans who own their homes outright, you'll need a conventional mortgage. Once you find the home you want, things will move fairly fast. To lean into this process and improve your chances of closing on your desired property, potential homeowners should get pre-approved for a loan, Time magazine recommended. This, along with other necessary paperwork, will demonstrate that you are able to repay the money you're borrowing and will make sellers feel more comfortable choosing your bid.

2. Be present

It's common for prospective homebuyers to send in their offers via email or over the phone. While these are sometimes the only routes possible for certain people, presenting your bid in person could be beneficial to your success, according to Inman. The ability to see the buyer in the flesh and learn a little more about him or her could convince seller or agents that you're the right fit.

3. Introduce an escalation clause

Nervous other prospective buyers will outbid you? Others could be just as hungry for the same property, but you may not be able to meet their price - or they may not be able to match yours. An escalation clause enables you to play this cat-and-mouse game while also ensuring you don't push past your final limit. This effort will increase your bid incrementally above others on the table to a certain, pre-established ceiling. Just don't forget to set your budget and stick to it, warned.

An escalation clause will raise your bid incrementally.An escalation clause will raise your bid incrementally.

4. Find the right team

No matter whether you're a first-time homebuyer or have completed the process in the past, you're going to need all the help you can get. It's important to complete your own research and determine which housing factors are must-haves, but working with savvy professionals in the housing market can help answer all of your most particular questions along the way. An agent or a mortgage broker can make the bidding and homebuying process that much easier and can work their magic with the seller's team as well, according to Business Insider.

5. Don't let pending contracts scare you

It happens more often than you would think. A prospective buyer's bid on a home is accepted and a contract is being drawn up, only to have the person back out before he or she signs on the dotted line. If your dream home is already in the near-final stages for someone else, don't let that deter you. Place a backup offer anyway, according to U.S. News and World Report. It could work out in your favor and place you in the top spot if the initial bidder makes a different choice. 

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.


5 important things you'll learn at a homebuyer education course

A survey from NeighborWorks America found that about two-thirds of respondents said the homebuying process is complicated.

These people aren't wrong; buying a house can be an incredibly complex transaction. Between finding the right home, securing a mortgage, reviewing the inspection report, determining closing costs and more, first-time homebuyers often find very quickly that buying a home is one of the biggest and most complicated transactions they'll ever make.

Despite these facts, only a small amount of homebuyers take a homebuyer education course. Those who do are often there to fulfill a requirement from their lender or a down payment assistance program.

Whether you're new to the home-purchase process or you've bought a few homes already, there's a good chance you would benefit from taking a few hours to learn from an expert. In these homebuyer education courses, you'll learn:

1. How to get a good loan.

One of the most important aspects of buying a home is finding the right residential mortgage for you. No two homebuyers have identical financial situations, which means that the perfect home loan for your friend or relative might not be your best bet.

There are many mortgage products out there. Some have terms of 10, 15 or 30 years. Some have a rate that stays the same throughout the entire life of the loan; others have rates that change annually.

In addition to learning about how to shop for a good mortgage, you'll also learn about what questions to ask your lender and what documentation you'll need to secure a loan.

2. What you'll be expected to pay at the time of sale.

Most people have heard about the down payment. This is a portion of the total home cost that you'll pay right away. Typically, a 20% down payment is ideal, but this isn't always feasible or necessary - many people pay less.

Aside from the down payment, you might be surprised to find there are even more costs you'll be accountable for. Homeowners insurance, title insurance, appraisal fees and real estate taxes are some common examples of these costs.

3. How to maintain a home.

Homeownership can be hard sometimes. When the furnace goes out, the roof starts leaking or the toilet breaks, there's no landlord to call for help. You have to address the issue yourself or contact a professional for assistance.

In addition to unexpected fixes you may need to tackle, you'll also need to do preventative maintenance. This means inspecting your roof to prevent leaks, cleaning the gutters and knowing when to replace certain features, like windows or appliances.

4. How to live efficiently.

In addition to your monthly mortgage payment, you'll also need to pay for water, heating and other utilities. If you're not careful, these expenses can add up. Some homeownership education courses dive into how to conserve energy and water so you can keep these monthly bills at a minimum.

5. What you need to know about home inspections.

The home inspection is an important part of the homebuying process. By having a professional look around the property, the buyer can move forward with the purchase, confident that the home is a good investment. Or, if something terrible turns up during the inspection, the buyer can usually back out, saving him or her lots of money on repairs or trying to generate returns on a run-down home.

Despite the inspection being highly recommended, there are many misconceptions surrounding the process. For example, many people don't know that it's OK - and even advisable - for the buyer to attend the inspection, CNBC reported. Also, it's common for a buyer to glance over the inspection report, seek out a few key words and call it a day. Many homebuyer education courses discuss what will be included in the inspection report, and how to read it.

Other times, in the interest of appealing to the seller or moving the transaction along quickly, some buyers skip the inspection altogether. CNBC reported about 10% of homes are purchased without an inspection.

Buying a home can be an exciting purchase, and homeownership can be incredibly rewarding. However, it's not always a walk in the park. Homebuying and homeownership are both complex and, at times, challenging.

Why go into the process uninformed? By taking a homebuyer education course, you can get all your toughest questions answered, and you'll go into the purchase ready for any obstacles that come your way.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.


No, you don't need a 20% down payment to buy a house

Lack of inventory has made for a highly competitive housing market this year, which in turn has pushed home prices up.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average home price in February 2017 was $390,400. This compares to $355,300 in January 2017 and $349,400 in February 2016. Rising home prices makes it difficult for homebuyers to make a sizeable down payment and encourages bidding wars that increase the price tag even more.

It's generally said that a 20% down payment is typical or at least wanted by most sellers and real estate agents. According to a recent Redfin survey, 35.7% of real estate agent respondents said a 20% down payment is generally associated with a successful bid on a home.

With the average price at $390,400, a 20% down payment would be $78,080 - more than many homebuyers have saved up. As such, many are forced to make smaller down payments.

However, Redfin's study found that this might not be as big a detriment as one might think. Nearly one-fourth of respondents said down payments of between 3% and 5% seem to have a good chance at success. In fact, there are many ways to seal the deal on a home without putting up your entire life savings.

Make a connection

Many successful bids come from people who have established a connection with the seller. This doesn't mean they're best friends or even that they know each other. One Chicago area agent, Rano Khudayberdieva, told Redfin that writing a cover letter can greatly improve a prospective buyer's chances of getting a bid accepted.

"Writing a cover letter can improve a buyer's chances of getting a bid accepted."

"You'd rather have a committed buyer who put a little less down than a buyer with 20% down who may back out," Khudayberdieva explained.

Another Chicago area agent, Tim Zielonka, said a buyer who bonded with a seller over a common interest was able to beat out his competitors who made larger down-payment offers.

"I recently had an FHA-backed offer with 3.5% down beat out four other offers, each of which had conventional 20% down loans," Zielonka said. "The sellers were at the showing. I introduced them to the buyers and pointed out that both were huge enthusiasts of both vintage bicycles and classic cars, which put them at ease with one another and enabled them to form a natural connection. Had they not discovered this shared interest, my clients may not have gotten the property."

Explore other loan options

A conventional mortgage requires the buyer either make a 20% down payment or purchase private mortgage insurance, which could potentially add thousands to a home loan. There are, however, other loan products that allow for a smaller down payment without a PMI obligation - as long as you qualify.

VA loan
If you or your spouse has served in the armed forces, you may qualify for a VA loan. These loans offer very low rates, plus don't require a down payment at all, as long as the sales price of the home is less than the appraised value, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

FHA loan
The Federal Housing Authority has a loan program to encourage first-time homebuyers find a house they can afford while also reducing risks for lenders. Under the FHA program, a buyer can put as little as 3.5% down - as long as their credit score is 580 or higher. But if you've got a not-so-impressive score, don't worry. You can still put as low as 10% down on a home under the FHA program.

USDA loan
In an effort to aid low- and moderate-income families living outside major metropolises obtain adequate housing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a loan program in rural areas. Though it's often called a "rural home loan," it's actually available in the majority of the U.S., though not in very large cities. Like the VA loan, a down payment isn't required for USDA loans.

Seek out down payment assistance

Down payment assistance programs are available to many homebuyers, regardless of whether they've purchased a home before or not. According to research conducted by Urban Institute, these programs have aided in the purchase of many homes across the U.S., largely without risk to the lender or increased fees to the borrower. Every program is different, but many offer to pay a portion of your down payment or closing costs for you.


Though paying PMI can add to the cost of the mortgage, there are situations where purchasing this insurance product is actually your most cost-effective option. For example, if you have an excellent credit score, your lender may give you a generously low PMI rate. Additionally, you'll be able to cancel your PMI once you've paid off 22% of the home price or more. If you know you can reach this goal fairly quickly, it might be worth paying the PMI for a few months and cancelling it as soon as you can.

Coming up with the funds for a down payment is often one of the most difficult hurdles of making a home purchase. Luckily, consumers have myriad options for clearing this obstacle and carrying on with their homebuying journey.