Hello Summer. Hello Home Renos...

Most of us will be sticking close to home this upcoming long weekend which opens the opportunity to tackle a few indoor and outdoor home projects. We have spent a LOT of quality time in our humble abodes this past year and there’s no better time to focus on DIY projects moving into the summer months. Whether you’re looking to refresh a small space, indulge in a mini home makeover or invest in the value of your home – now is the time. 

Improving Your Home Value

Increasing your home value starts here!

Ideas for improving the layout, functionality & future value of your home…

  • A fresh coat of paint in your primary rooms can open up a space making it feel larger, contemporary and clean
  • New crown molding will add character & a sense of sophistication to each room
  • Visually increase square footage by adding new built-ins (new desk) under the stairs or in an unused nook/corner of your home
  • Add new shelving to each closet in the home to allow for improved organization 
  • Look at getting an inspection completed to identify any potential areas of improvement
  • Give your master bathroom a mini makeover – small upgrades equate to great return on your investment

Look at trendy and affordable alternatives for flooring including vinyl or laminate, but spend a little more on ceramic or porcelain countertops and backsplashes. Sleek, modern fixtures can make all the difference!

Finish the basement in your home to provide you with more livable square footage, making it more attractive when it comes time for resale. Look at adding a bar or entertainment area that can have dual uses. 

Redefining Your Space

Extend Your Outdoor Living Area

More homeowners are making the most of their exterior space (patios/backyard). Building a backyard oasis does not have to be a big feat. Keep the gardening trends alive into 2021! 2020 was the year of the green thumb for many people retreating to their own backyards for solace and comfort.

Create a living plant wall with movable planters is a brilliant start for adding character and charisma to your outdoor space. Invest in new patio furniture and swing by your local greenhouse to pick up a fun assortment of goods.

Refresh & Revitalize

  • Install a new front door (bold colors are all the rage right now!)
  • Give your home a rinse – plan to power wash the exterior of the home to leave it glistening in the sunshine and looking clean. Give the driveway, sidewalks and walkways some love while you’re at it.

Add some character to your home! 

You’ve been spending significant amounts of time in your humble abode. Leave your mark and truly make it your own by adding some personal flare.

  • Start with bringing in some new artwork (go big in a small space – check out your local galleries or scope something vintage from a second hand or thrift store for enhanced character & personality). There’s a story to every masterpiece!
  • Add new wallpaper pattern in your powder room or home office
  • Make the most of unused space! Add a bookshelf or wine storage under the stairs or under any unused nook around your home

Prepare for Success

  • Understand the full scope of project & key timelines
  • Do your research!!! Source multiple quotes to ensure competitive pricing of materials
  • Be realistic in your capabilities, do not be afraid to reach out for specialized expertise. While YouTube can be a helpful guide, there is no harm reaching out to a professional for small or big parts of your home renovation
  • Determine which jobs need to be outsourced once you’ve completed your research
  • Know your budget, include a contingency for unexpected discoveries (10-15% of total projected costs)
  • Financing – Our team of mortgage experts can help you get closer to your dream home oasis with our Flex 2nd Mortgage offering. We can lend up to $200,000 with ultimate flexibility offering open-term financing

Need funding for your home renovation?

Connect with your trusted Mortgage Professional to ask about our Home Renovation: Flex 2nd Mortgage.




Alta West Capital – Turning Possibility into Reality.

With the help of the Shelter Canada translators, we virtually traveled to the community of Trinidad Galvez to officially welcome 6 families into their new homes. Although this Key Ceremony day feels different this time around as we could not be celebrating alongside our El Salvadorian friends, we are still tremendously grateful to be connected with these families and be part of affecting this change in their lives. 

Gonzales Mijango virtual key ceremony
Granado family virtual key ceremony

The Virtual Journey

Being able to participate in this virtual journey reminds us that we don’t need to be physically present to connect with others, to lend a hand and to offer hope.

Flore Martinez virtual key ceremony

Building a Safe Home

Each piece of sheet metal, the nails that hold it together, and the concrete pad that holds it up, represents new beginnings for all the families. 

The Key to a Home

Herrera Granado Key ceremony

Being able to witness all of these virtually but still having the same emotions as if we were there physically, puts things into perspective. All we need is the heart and compassion to be able to make a difference. 

To meet the families and follow Alta West Capital’s journey, click here.


Shelter Canada is a non-profit organization with the goal of creating positive, sustainable change in the lives of people in all the poorest communities of El Salvador. For more information on Shelter Canada, please visit here

In November 2019, the Alta West Capital (AWC) team along with a group of investors travelled to El Salvador with Shelter Canada and built 20 houses for families in need. AWC’s plan was to travel back to El Salvador this year and build an additional 25 houses, however teams have been unable to travel to El Salvador due to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shelter Nexus - Building Hope Online Program

To adapt to the restrictions placed for safety and precautions from the pandemic, Shelter Canada has developed the “Shelter Nexus – Building Hope Online” program. This allows Canadians to still connect with those in El Salvador and assist in the building of homes for those that are the most in need. Alta West Capital and its staff donated six homes to families in need and we have started our journey in the virtual build and have met the families we will be building these houses for.

Ayala Family and Wendy the Interpreter
Flore Tenonio Family with Alta West Capital

El Salvador Still Needs Homes

Although COVID-19 has disrupted nearly every facet of society, the desperate need for homes in El Salvador has not gone away. The pandemic has only amplified the need for Shelter Canada to continue its important mission to get the most vulnerable El Salvadorians in homes. In addition to the global health crisis that has struck El Salvador particularly hard, the country was also devastated by two tropical storms that caused extreme flooding.

Gonzales Mijango Family Home Before Building

Hope for a Better Future

Although we cannot be there physically lending our hands, our hearts are with them. We are still providing a positive, sustainable changes in the lives of the people of El Salvador. These houses do not just provide four walls and a roof, it offers the community a sense of hope. Hope provides a sense of possibility to envision a better future, especially in times of uncertainty.

To meet the families and follow Alta West Capital’s journey, click here.


Shelter Canada is a non-profit organization with the goal of creating positive, sustainable change in the lives of people in all the poorest communities of El Salvador. For more information on Shelter Canada, please visit here

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadians from coast to coast have found themselves in a difficult position financially. The Canadian government temporarily implemented several stimulus programs to alleviate the financial burden caused by COVID-19. The most notable being the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). However with CERB payments ceasing at the end of September, millions of Canadians will begin receiving Employment Insurance (EI) instead. EI is a government-run program that provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.


What does this all mean for your mortgage? Whether you need to renew your existing mortgage, refinance, or purchase a new home, many Canadians are asking “how will I be able to meet the income qualifications while on reduced income?” In addition to this, the stresses and strains of income reduction has led to many Canadians seeing a drop in their credit score.


The Alternative Solution

Individuals without adequate documentation of income and/or with poor credit history may be turned away from the bank. However, don’t lose hope.

Did you know that alternative lenders may have fewer income restrictions compared to traditional mortgage lenders?

 Alternative lenders are often equity-based lenders and as such consider the equity available in your property as part of the underwriting process. The more equity, the more forgiving they often are on qualifiers like income and even credit score.


Many alternative lenders will consider income from self-employment or even stated income. With stated income, often a letter outlining your income, possibly with some minor documentation to back your claim, may be sufficient to qualify. The self-employed individual may be able to rely upon standard business documentation (bank statements, invoices, contracts, etc.) to meet the lenders income verification standards.


In addition, alternative lenders or private lenders are generally more flexible with the credit history requirements. While you can expect good credit to smooth the path with any lender, a low credit score is often less of a concern with alternative lenders than at the bank.


Choosing an Alternative Lender That Fits Your Needs

Finding the right lender involves more than looking at competitive interest rates; you’ll want to work with a company that has your best interests at heart and can help you to make informed decisions about your future.

An alternative mortgage lender offers a more personalized approach to borrowing as well as more flexible options for individuals with poor credit or less fortunate circumstances.

Finding a mortgage lender can be a daunting task. One common strategy to help is to seek the services of a qualified mortgage broker. They will help educate you on the process, ensure you are well informed and ultimately help you make the decision that’s right for you.


As an alternative lender, Alta West Capital provides solutions for people like you. With a quick and easy application, you can get your purchase, mortgage renewal or refinance underway today.


Click the link to begin your application and we will get back to you within 24 hours.


About Alta West Capital

Since 1991 we have helped Canadians in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario by providing them with mortgages and lending alternatives to meet their needs. We specialize in mortgages for first-time homebuyers, families that are new to Canada and self-employed business owners. We also offer debt consolidation services, mortgage refinancing, and mortgages for second homes or investment properties.


No matter what your situation, when you trust Alta West Capital for your borrowing needs, you will receive exceptional service and personalized solutions. Choose Alta West Capital and discover why more and more Canadians are embracing alternative mortgage lenders.

Alta West Capital's Nomination

We are proud to announce that Alta West Capital has been selected as a finalist for the Private Lender of the Year award. 


For over 29 years, Alta West Capital has been striving towards being a leader in the Alternative Lending space. This is a great recognition of our commitment to providing a comprehensive suite of products and services for our industry partners. We are truly thankful for your continued support.


Congratulations to all the 2020 nominees!

Alta West Capital Private Lender of the Year Finalist

Putting Canadians into Homes

Alta West Capital (AWC) is a dynamic Alternative Lender lending in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. We have a 29-year history in serving Canadians by providing mortgage financing for those that fall outside of conventional banking guidelines, providing investments for financial independence, and performing philanthropic work in Canada and abroad. We take pride in providing alternative financing that puts Canadians in their homes. We do this by providing our broker partners the products, resources, transparency, and underwriting consistency that they require to do what they do best.


Whether you’re a mortgage professional, an investor or a client looking to borrow, the Alta West team has the experience and knowledge to provide a solution that fits your needs. 


Helping the Everyday Entrepreneur

At Alta West Capital, half of our team of thirty are either first or second-generation Canadians. With staff born in countries as varied as Egypt, Cambodia, China and Argentina, amongst others, there are eleven languages spoken in our office. Naturally, we love lending to new Canadians, helping people like ourselves thrive and excel as they become part of the Canadian landscape.


Hand in hand with new Canadians, are those who make a living for themselves. The self-employed are an underserved segment of the Canadian housing market and another population we love helping in their dream of home-ownership. We really do appreciate helping the everyday entrepreneur.

New Canadians and the self-employed, these are two of our largest market segments and in our experience, very rewarding people to work with.

Our investor base are predominantly Mom and Pop family investors, saving for their retirement dreams. Investors are often an overlooked demographic of Private Lending and one that we are proud to serve. Mortgage Investment Corporations (MIC’s) were created back in 1973 as a vehicle to allow everyday Canadians to participate in mortgage investments, and to profit, just like the big banks. We’re proud to do our little part to provide this important option to Canadian investors. 


Our People-first Approach

Taking feedback from our broker partners, we continue to update and expand our suite of products as well as improve our service to provide the best overall solution we can. Our experienced team operates on the philosophy of “making it happen, not letting it happen”. Find as many ways as you can to remove the obstacles to success for the client, the broker and the investor. 


The broker community has long known us for our fast and efficient underwriting and our “do what we say we’ll do” service. We are continually seeking to innovate and grow by adopting technology to further improve our processes, evolving to equip our team with the tools they need to improve efficiency in our application submission, underwriting and funding process.


But it can’t just be technology for technology sake. 

The key to successfully integrating software, software that actually makes a difference, is to have a “people-first” approach. 

When evaluating a new piece of software, we ask some simple questions. How will this help us provide better service to our brokers and their clients? What efficiencies will this bring? How will this make life easier for our staff, our brokers, our clients and our investors? The benefits of this approach were recently highlighted with the outbreak of Covid-19. 


Thrive, Not Survive

When Covid-19 broke, our mantra was “thrive, not survive”. We didn’t want our staff living with a “survival mentality”, we wanted them to thrive and to come out the other side of the pandemic along with the company, it’s brokers and clients, in a better place than before. 


Our strategy and success caught the eye of our technology provider, Salesforce, who were impressed enough to outline our success in this blog, now available on the Salesforce website. We are very proud of being recognized for this achievement.


Alta West Capital has made a considerable investment in technology, but not all new technology is to simply to create efficiencies, it must also protect customer information. In the mortgage industry we handle a lot of sensitive data and it’s our responsibility to ensure that the technology we implement is as safe as it is efficient. Every software implementation is made with security in mind to ensure that our client’s data is handled properly and is well protected. 

We take a people-first approach with cybersecurity and managing data, if it's important to them, it's important to us.

The Path to Homeownership

Our company, full of immigrants, has found pride in providing new Canadians with homes. We have extended our vision to help even more people in to homes outside of Canada. We realize the importance of giving back, not only to our community but to those less fortunate in some of the poorest parts of the world.


For the past couple of years, Alta West has partnered up with Shelter Canada and recruited a team of volunteers to travel to El Salvador to change the lives of people far less fortunate than us. We wanted to extend our ability to provide safe housing beyond our borders, in some of the poorest communities, in Central America. In addition to raising tens of thousands of dollars in donations, we have sent teams of staff to El Salvador, who with the aid of other volunteers, working in tandem with local leaders, have helped build over 500 homes for some of the world’s poorest people.


However, this year with Covid-19, and with the inability to travel south to build homes, we changed our focus and have given back to our local community by donating to the Calgary Food Bank. We hope to be back in El Salvador in 2021.


We love what we do. For some Canadians, we are the path to homeownership, for others the path to financial independence. Alta West Capital has a great, dedicated team, who enjoy what they do. We are very thankful for the opportunity to be considered for this award and would like to thank those who nominated Alta West Capital as well as the Mortgage Award of Excellence committee for considering our nomination.

Financial Support

The economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has impacted almost every Canadian, both indirectly and directly in some way. To mitigate the financial burden, new measures for financial assistance have been announced by the Federal and Provincial governments 



For further details and a complete list of all these measuresyou can visit the Government of Canada’s and your Provincial Government’s COVID-19 response pages 


We are in this together, a message from our CEO.

Federal Support

The government of Canada has released sweeping measures to help not only individuals impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, but for businesses as wellFor a complete list of all these measures, click here.

Provincial Support

The provincial governments have implemented a wide range of options to help. To learn more about the options available to you at the provincial levelclick below to find what may be of help to you.  

Other Resources

The stress brought about by social isolation, the disruption to day to day life and financial worries brought about by COVID-19 pandemic can have a significant impact on mental health. 


The government, both at the Federal and Provincial levels, have significantly boosted funding to many mental help resources available. If you need help, you can reach out to the following services:  

  • Family Violence – Find Supports – 310-1818 Call if you (or someone you know) are going through family violence or abuse if you have questions or want to find out about programs, resources, and services. 
  • Mental Health Helpline – 1-877-303-2642 Offers help for mental health concerns for Albertans. 
  • Income Supports– 1-866-644-5135 Financial help for Albertans who don’t have resources to meet their basic needs (e.g., food, clothing, shelter). 
  • Addiction Helpline – 1-866-332-2322  Help for problems with gambling, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. 
  • ConnexOntario – Adults and frontline workers who are dealing with the realities of COVID-19 can call ConnexOntario at 1-866-531-2600 for mental health, addictions and problem gambling support. 
  • BounceBack – A free, evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program that provides guided mental health self-help supports for adults and youth 15+ using workbooks, online videos and phone coaching. Call 1-866-345-0224. 
  • Good2Talk  A phone and texting service that provides confidential support to post-secondary students. Call 1-866-925-5454. 

What a crazy week! After participating this week in the home builds with all the amazing energy of a mid sixties male of the species I kind of bottomed out in a good way at our daily recap meeting. I felt like this was the big reveal, chairs in a big circle, this was it, personal recaps flowing and it was my turn.  I was mildly sleep deprived and slightly exhausted by 6 days of high humidity and 38 degree heat and as I spoke I was  instantaneously overwhelmed to be honest. I suddenly realized that building 20 new homes with a small team of warm and engaging underprivileged El Salvadoran families was much more than just building 20 homes. It became very apparent that I had found a new recipe for making good friends and good memories. I realized that the always great office associates had become great friends and the many other build team mates and villagers were now new friends too. 

This week of  building  was a vacation to be sure but this was like no beach holiday or Vegas getaway. It would be impossible to leave El Salvador and not feel that you had hit a jackpot, that you had just kind of won really big at the craps table, you had suddenly been adopted by a mixed race family of happy hardworking El Salvadorans and Canadians. You were now part of the village. Your life had become much richer in a short week. To top it off you hit triple sevens on the slot machines and the win gave 80 plus citizens in the little El Salvadoran village 20 new homes. You were on a multinational team of Campeones (Champions)! The whole experience was better than a day at the beach which by no coincidence was how we spent our last day in El Salvador Who wouldn’t like that kind of holiday?


Thanks to everyone for letting me be part of the team and hats off to the Alta West team, Shelter Canada, and everyone that worked in the blazing El Salvadoran sun. 

Cal Morstad





It’s key ceremony day and we have all been preparing for this day to come as we hand off the keys to the families we built houses for. It was a day of celebration filled with fireworks, piñatas and thank you’s. It was overwhelming to see the bright smile on their faces, the gesture of appreciation and the togetherness of the community.


No one prepared us for how hard it was to say our goodbyes. The first family that our team built a house for took us aside to say his thank you. It was a man (Moises) who spoke little when we first met him but has been with us on every site lending a hand and taking the lead. He may have little but his heart is full.


We have come to this trip not knowing how impactful this week will be. Not only to the families of the community and the Shelter Canada staff, but to our own lives as well. It’s astonishing how a simple hammer and a generous heart can bring so many people together from different culture and background and break all barriers. I was asked a question to what motivated me to come to El Salvador and as I looked back, I just know it was something I had to do and that is to help build a shelter for families in need. But I’m finishing this week with more than just building 4 walls and a roof, I have built lasting memories with my team and the people of El Salvador and will be leaving with a better story to tell.


El Salvador, we leave a piece of our hearts with you. This is not a goodbye, but a promise that we will see each other again.


– Criselle Lim  

Today is the final day of building! After working on separate teams for the week, all of the members from the Alta West team had the opportunity to all work together alongside with our El Salvadorian brothers and sisters. It perfectly summed up what this entire week has been about so far – building up a community, together.


It was fitting that one of the last homes we built was for Marco and his beautiful family. He had worked hard alongside us for the past few weeks, willing to do whatever job was needed of him. This house comes to him as a tremendous blessing as he told us that in a previous earthquake, a piece of his roof fell on his baby boy, and that he lived in constant worry that the current structure they were living in would not withstand another earthquake.


I personally spent a lot of the time with the local kids at these work sites. Although we didn’t speak the same language; playing games, singing and dancing is universal to every kid (and kid at heart). In those moments, I couldn’t help but to imagine a better future for them – that seeing neighbors helping neighbors will plant that seed in their hearts to do the same for their communities when they get older.


Beyond the team of people that actually drilled in the screws, hoisted up the walls, and dug the holes, behind every home there was a community of Canadians and El Salvadorians rallying together. While we are done building these 20 homes we set out to do, the work has just been started to build up these communities.


Monica Chung 






It is the third day of building and so far we have 18 homes built! Today was hot, sweaty, stinky and so wonderfully fulfilling. 


I came to El Salvador with trepidation, wondering what skills I could offer. After 45 years of desk jobs, I was doubtful what I could contribute, so I asked my husband to join me. I knew he would make up for my inabilities.


After three days, I can proudly claim I have mastered some skills, but more importantly I have learned others:

1) Humility
2) Compassion
3) Cooperation with our team, the Shelter Canada team, and the El Salvadorian community who are by our sides showing us how hard they work 
4) Pride to be part of such a worthwhile project 
5) Friendship – sharing hugs and stories with our New El Salvadorian friends.

There has been so much emotion, it is hard to explain – lots of laughter, and some tears. This is a beautiful country full of beautiful people. We are so grateful to be here.



Kevin & Diane 



We met Daniel (pictured left) on one of our work sites – he lived across the street, and joined us as we were working. He was a bright boy, his eyes were filled with happiness and he laughed and taught us songs and games.

It was only until after that we had discovered that Daniel was left an orphan after his mother passed away a few years back. He taught us that despite the most devastating of circumstances, that our hearts are still capable to find hope.

George Botros
Chief Executive Officer

George Botros was appointed as CEO of Alta West Capital in April 2021. Prior to his role as CEO, George served as Alta West Capital’s CFO and CCO from 2014 to 2021. He has over 20 years in the lending business, participating in residential, commercial, mezzanine, and interim financing related activities.


George is also a Director of the funds Alta West administers. Prior to joining Alta West Capital, he managed Toro Financial Corporation which amalgamated with AWM Diversified MIC, an entity managed by AWC, in 2014. George was also a University Professor teaching Finance and Economics for University of Lethbridge.


George holds a Bachelor of Economics and an MBA.