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.

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. 

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and start looking for a new home. As a first time home buyer, you may be nervous about taking on the financial obligation of a mortgage, especially if you have concerns about low credit or accumulated debt. Buying a home doesn’t have to be as scary as you think, and luckily, there are ways to improve your credit score and still apply for a mortgage and get approved with an alternative mortgage lender, even if your credit isn’t where exactly where you want it.

Advice From a Mortgage Investment Corporation

A mortgage is a significant financial responsibility, and it’s recommended that you feel confident in your current financial situation before attempting to buy a house. A mortgage lender can help you to establish goals and make wise choices around your mortgage application. These 4 helpful hints for improving your credit are important to consider as you prepare to proceed with a mortgage investment corporation.

Stay on Top of Payments

Every consumer knows that the best way to improve your credit score is to stay on top of monthly payments. One late payment on your credit card may not have a drastic impact on your overall rating, but an accumulation of late and missed payments could have far-reaching consequences. Remember: making the minimum payments every month might be better than trying to tackle more than you can afford, resulting in a skipped payment the following month.

Monitor Your Credit Utilization

In the calculation of your credit score, one thing that plays a significant role is the amount of available debt that you utilize. If your credit card has a high limit, you should try to stay well below it, within approximately 10% of the maximum amount. You should follow this same practice for other debts, including lines of credit. If you struggle with running a high balance, you may want to consider asking your bank about a balance transfer.

Show Off Your Good Habits

Being eager to pay off outstanding debts is a good thing, but you shouldn’t be so rash in trying to eliminate all trace that they ever existed. Old car or student loans will disappear automatically, but it might be a good idea to hang on to credit cards or lines of credit that have been paid off as a way to show off your good habits. Rather than cancelling a credit card, keeping your balance at zero could help to improve your credit score.

Be Patient

Understand that your debt will not go away overnight; neither will your credit score improve immediately. Taking the necessary steps will take some time, but improving your score is possible and, more importantly, it’s worth it. A solid credit score can open up several options when it comes to applying for a mortgage.


How a Mortgage Affects Your Credit

You’ve taken steps to improve your credit, but you might be asking yourself, won’t a mortgage drop it right back down again? Initially, a mortgage may lower your overall score because of the significance of the loan. Due to this initial, though temporary, damage to your score, you should wait for some time before applying for other loans and services that may require a credit check. Typically, six months is an appropriate waiting period.

As you consistently make on-time payments to your mortgage and other debt obligations, your credit will gradually improve. If you are committed to a disciplined payment schedule, creditors will view your ability to handle such a significant loan with favour, and your mortgage could end up being a good thing for your credit.

Ultimately, your mortgage affects your debt-to-income ratio — keeping your amount of debt in proportion to your income is essential. When preparing to apply for a mortgage with an alternative mortgage lender, try to abstain from taking on additional debt obligations to keep your debt-to-income ratio as low as possible. While it may be tempting to rush out to buy new furnishings or appliances for your home, these purchases could impact your credit and debt-to-income ratio. Some mortgage lenders, including banks, will revoke mortgage approval if these values change significantly between the approval period and the time of funding.


Poor Credit? Talk to a Mortgage Investment Corporation

There are some circumstances outside of outstanding debts that may impede your credit score and thus make applying for a mortgage more difficult. If you are self-employed, new to Canada, or buying your first home, some mortgage lenders may reject your mortgage application for reasons beyond your control. Fortunately, there is an alternative option. Private mortgage lenders and mortgage investment corporations cater to individuals that struggle with poor credit due to certain external circumstances. If you have poor credit, you should take the necessary steps to improve it, but you should also know that you have other options.

The Bottom Line

Whether you have poor credit, or you’ve taken the necessary steps to improve your score before applying for a mortgage, a mortgage investment corporation can help you get approved. Alta West Capital is an alternative mortgage lender committed to assisting borrowers that may otherwise struggle to get approved. We offer a number of lending solutions for first time buyers, individuals and families that are new to Canada, self-employed business owners, real estate investors and more. Alta West loans are fast and flexible to fit your needs. Visit our website to apply online or contact us directly — call (403) 254-9075 or email info@awcapital.ca.

Most Canadians have some type of debt obligation, including one or more of the following: a mortgage, car payment, line of credit, consumer loan, or credit card debt. For some individuals and families, debt is a source of major concern and cause severe anxiety, stress, and financial instability. While you may choose to deal with your debt in your own way, some people do not know or understand all of the options available when it comes to paying off and getting rid of debt. In this article, we will dive into two concepts that can make your journey towards financial stability both possible and accessible: debt consolidation and mortgage refinancing.

What is Debt Consolidation?

Debt consolidation involves combining multiple loans into one. If your credit card carries a high-interest rate, it may be beneficial to transfer the balance to an existing line of credit or to consolidate the loan by refinancing your mortgage. The benefits of debt consolidation include having only one monthly payment to worry about and, depending on the debt you carry, paying less than before. A mortgage lender can help you determine if debt consolidation is a good option for you.

What is Mortgage Refinancing?

Refinancing is different than mortgage renewal. Refinancing essentially allows you to replace your current mortgage or loan with a new one under different terms. Individuals may choose to refinance in order to change mortgage lenders, access lower interest rates, shorten the loan term, or consolidate debt. When making any decisions regarding changes to your mortgage, you should seek advice from a professional mortgage investment corporation to help you understand the pros and cons of your unique situation.

Consolidation Through Refinancing

Refinancing your mortgage as a means of consolidating loans allows you to replace high-interest debt with low-interest debt. Mortgages typically have significantly lower interest rates than credit cards and other typical consumer debt. Tapping into the equity built up in your home can potentially free up hundreds of dollars in cash flow each month and save you from high and unnecessary payments. Even though your total mortgage will increase, your ability to pay off debt faster will also be enhanced.

If you choose to consolidate your debt through mortgage refinancing, you should be prepared to avoid racking up additional debt on your credit cards once the balance is paid off. Debt consolidation can help you get out of debt faster, but it shouldn’t be a catalyst for spending even more down the road.

Advantages of Refinancing to Pay Off Debt

1.Lower Interest Rates

Take advantage of the low-interest rates offered by your mortgage investment corporation or another mortgage lender. Paying less in interest each month can help you pay off debt faster.

2. Fixed Interest Rates

When you enter into a mortgage contract, you may choose to select a fixed-rate loan. While credit card companies can increase interest rates at any time, locking in to a fixed-rate mortgage will allow you to set a consistent budget for debt repayment and eliminate any future surprises.

3. One Monthly Payment

Taking care of only one monthly payment will significantly simplify your monthly financial obligations. Having several monthly payments can make it easy to forget or miss one, which can impact your credit score. Keep it simple with a single amount you won’t easily forget.

4. Lower Monthly Payment

Not only will your debt be consolidated into one overall payment, but it could also end up being a significantly lower amount. The remainder left between what you were previously paying and your new monthly payment could mean an extra few hundred dollars each month. You may choose to pocket this residual cash, invest it, put it towards your mortgage, or keep it in a savings account.

5. Improve Your Credit Score

When you refinance your mortgage to consolidate your debt, your mortgage will increase slightly while your credit card will be paid down to zero. The Canadian credit bureau highly favours loan payment in full. As a result, your credit score, whether good or bad, will show significant improvement.

Tips From a Mortgage Investment Corporation

While debt consolidation and mortgage refinancing may be excellent options for some people, they may not make sense for everyone. Be sure to discuss your options with your bank, broker, or mortgage investment corporation. A professional can help evaluate the long-term advantages and disadvantages of these changes. They will encourage you to consider any fees associated with the transaction, whether or not you should consolidate all debts or just a few, how long you plan to stay in the home you are currently in, and how current interest rates are forecasted to rise or fall based on the ever-changing economic climate.

Whether you’re looking to consolidate your debt, refinance your mortgage or apply for a new mortgage, Alta West Capital can help. We offer a number of lending solutions for first time buyers, individuals and families that are new to Canada, self-employed business owners, real estate investors and more. Alta West loans are fast and flexible to fit your needs. Visit our website to apply online or contact us directly — call (403) 254-9075 or email info@awcapital.ca.

In today’s housing climate, mortgage pre-approval is a key element of the house-buying process. More and more individuals and families are choosing to be pre-approved as a way to help plan for and evaluate the burden of owning a house and having a monthly mortgage payment. But what is pre-approval exactly?

What is Mortgage Pre-Approval?

In order to understand the importance of mortgage pre-approval, it’s first essential to have an understanding of what it is. You can apply for mortgage pre-approval with any mortgage broker or lender, including a bank, private mortgage lender, or mortgage investment corporation. Pre-approval will let you know the maximum amount you can afford for a home and will thus give you an idea of viable options on the market. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will also unfold what your monthly mortgage payment will be based on your maximum purchase price. This information is crucial; many first-time home buyers focus strictly on the amount of the down payment but forget about working the mortgage payment, utility bills, and property taxes into their monthly budget. Pre-approval is one way for people to understand and evaluate the costs, risks, and benefits of owning a home prior to taking the plunge.

Why Is Pre-Approval Important?

If you’re the type of person who is more likely to throw caution to the wind, or preparedness just isn’t your strong suit, you should know there are several additional benefits to applying for mortgage pre-approval.

1. Saves Time

Receiving pre-approval from a mortgage lender can save you time spent looking at houses outside of your price range or trying to work out a budget based on hypothetical numbers. While pre-approval does not guarantee you will receive formal approval for your mortgage, it’s still useful information to have.

2. Locks-In Rates

Something that many individuals do not realize is that applying for mortgage-pre-approval protects you from increases in rates that may occur while you search for a new home. While you are not obligated to proceed with a particular lender, the mortgage lender you do choose is obligated to honour the rate given under your pre-approval for at least 120 days.

3. Shows Commitment

Mortgage pre-approval with a mortgage investment corporation or a bank indicates to home sellers and real estate agents that you are serious about buying. Realtors may be inclined to provide more attentive service and sellers may be more willing to negotiate, knowing how serious you are about proceeding.

4. It’s Free!

There can be a lot of hidden or extra costs surrounding buying a house, but applying for mortgage pre-approval is not of them. There are virtually no risks, meaning you have no reason not to get pre-approved!

How to Get Pre-Approved

While the company that you choose to get pre-approval from does not necessarily need to be the same company that you eventually choose for your mortgage, it’s a good idea to begin the process by looking for mortgage lenders you can trust. Keep in mind that banks may be able to offer better rates, but are also more difficult to receive approval from; when you apply for a mortgage with a bank, you are obligated to undergo a federal stress test. A private mortgage lender or a mortgage investment corporation does not have to follow all of the same requirements. You can check out this blog for more information on choosing the mortgage lender that’s right for you.

As you sit down with a mortgage broker or lender, they will likely ask you a series of questions surrounding 3 main factors:

  • Credit Score
  • Down Payment
  • Debt-Service Ratio

With a decent credit score, a healthy downpayment, and a balanced debt-service ratio, you should be able to qualify for the mortgage of your choice. If any of these factors are not where they should be, a mortgage investment corporation may still pre-approve your mortgage.

Tips From a Mortgage Investment Corporation

A mortgage investment corporation specializes in helping individuals with poor credit, low savings, or experiencing other dis-advantages, (such as self-employed business owners, families that are new to Canada, or first-time homebuyers) access the loan they need to move forward with the purchase of the house. While MICs may be more forgiving or less strict about some aspects of applying for a mortgage, there are still some things that you can do to help the process run more smoothly.

Don’t Spend the Maximum

Just because you received approval for a $400,000 mortgage does not mean you should spend that much. If you are approved for $400,000, you may want to consider looking at homes with listing prices closer to $350,000.

Pay Off Debt

Before applying for a mortgage, or even pre-approval of a mortgage, it might be a good idea to pay off some of your debt. If you are carrying a large balance on your credit card or you have an outstanding student loan, focusing a portion of your income towards minimizing the amount of total debt you have could help in the mortgage lending process.

Get a Second Opinion

Second opinions can not only help you find the best deals but also give you confidence that you’re on the right track. Keep in mind that a pre-approval does not mean you’re stuck with one lender — feel free to shop around!

Mortgage pre-approval is essential to the house-buying process, and it’s not scary or intimidating. Simply find a mortgage lender you can trust and start the process today!

When you’re looking to borrow, Alta West Capital can help. We offer a number of lending solutions for first time buyers, individuals and families that are new to Canada, self-employed business owners, real estate investors and more. Alta West loans are fast and flexible to fit your needs. Visit our website to apply online or contact us directly — call (403) 254-9075 or email info@awcapital.ca.

Advice From a Mortgage Investment Corporation

When it comes to buying a house, shopping for a mortgage lender can be just as important as shopping for your future home. Because most mortgages have a duration of upwards of 20-25 years, choosing a lender that will offer the best advice, foster a positive relationship, and maintain policies to complement your financial situation is essential. 

Finding the Right Mortgage Lender

Finding the right lender involves more than looking at competitive 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. A mortgage investment corporation, or 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. 

How to Get Started

Here are 5 steps to take as you search for the mortgage lender that’s right for you. 

1. Know Your Credit Score

When was the last time you checked your credit score? If you make regular and timely payments towards your credit cards, car loans, phone bills, and other financial obligations, the chances are your credit will be in excellent shape to move forward with applying for a mortgage. If, on the other hand, you’re prone to miss payments or you’ve allowed your debt to get out of hand, your credit score will have taken a significant hit. 

In Canada, a credit score above 700 is good while the minimum score typically needed for mortgage approval is approximately 640. If your credit score is quite low, you may want to wait to buy a house as you take steps to improve it (pay off credit cards and other recurring loans) or consider the option of borrowing from a private mortgage lender.

2. Get Pre-Approved 

Some people wonder if pre-approval is worth the hassle. The truth is, getting pre-approved before you’re ready to close the deal can actually give you a leading edge as you shop for homes, and will help you save time later. Above all, a mortgage pre-approval gives you an idea of the maximum mortgage you can qualify for and can help you estimate and calculate future mortgage payments. With your maximum mortgage amount in mind, you can start shopping for houses within a certain limit, budgeting accordingly for closing costs, moving costs, ongoing maintenance, lawyer fees, and all other expenses associated with buying a new home. 

3. Compare Loan Features

Depending on your situation, you may find it beneficial to shop around and acquire rates from multiple mortgage lenders. You may even submit requests for several pre-approvals to help you determine the right solution for your situation. It’s important to understand that not all mortgages are created equally and that rate is not the only important feature to consider. Some banks and other mortgage lenders will offer fixed or variable rate mortgages, pre-payment privileges, skip-a-payment options, and other benefits. These various features may be important to you. Because different institutions may have slightly different priorities, you’ll need to decide which offers best align with your goals.

When shopping for lenders and comparing rates, know that there is a chance these inquiries can negatively impact your credit score, so be selective, but not too picky. 

4. Know Your Options

Did you know there are several avenues to consider when applying for a mortgage? There are three main types of lending options in Canada: traditional banks, mortgage brokers, and private mortgage lenders

Traditional banks are the most popular choice, but that doesn’t mean they are the best. Banks are under certain stipulations put in place by the federal government, which may hinder your ability to qualify. Mortgage brokers are not lenders themselves but they work with lenders to help you find the best rates. In some ways, brokers have more flexibility with the solutions they can help you find. Finally, alternative and private mortgage lenders represent a smaller number of lending institutions in Canada, but due to recent changes to mortgage qualifications and difficult stress tests, they are becoming an increasingly popular option for Canadians. 

5. Do Your Homework

Buying a house could well be the most significant financial decision you make in your lifetime. For that reason, it’s not something you should take lightly. Choosing the right mortgage lender involves asking the right questions, reading the fine print, and researching the company or institution. You may consider taking recommendations from your friends or even your realtor, however, you should still perform your own research; consider looking at reviews and testimonials online and making a list of important questions to ask. Be sure to inquire about turnaround times for approval — you don’t want a delay in your mortgage to prevent you from closing on the house of your dreams. You should also discuss loam terms and estimated monthly payments for your mortgage so that you can budget accordingly. 

The Right Mortgage Lender Can Make All the Difference

Finding a mortgage lender can be a daunting task, but as long as you remain educated and informed, you’ll be able to make the decision that’s right for you. You can ask for advice from a qualified and experienced mortgage broker and learn about how to account for future home renovations and mortgage renewals in the process of applying for a mortgage. 

Whether you’re looking to borrow or invest, Alta West Capital can help. We offer a number of lending solutions for first time buyers, individuals and families that are new to Canada, self-employed business owners, real estate investors and more. Alta West loans are fast and flexible to fit your needs. Visit our website to apply online or contact us directly. Call (403) 254-9075 or email info@awcapital.ca.

Before spending money on a home renovation, you may want to consider the return on investment. Home improvements are not always a good idea, but there are times when renovating makes the most sense and applying for a home improvement loan may be necessary. 

When Should I Get a Home Renovation Loan?

If you are planning to renovate your home to continue living in, you may want to save up or perform the renovations little by little, over time. Improvements that are merely for comfort or style purposes do not result in a financial return on investment. However, if you plan to sell your house in the near future, or you need to expand your living space to accommodate your growing family, a home renovation loan could be your best option. Keep in mind that not just any home improvement will help to increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell; these four home renovations have a high return on investment. 

1. The Kitchen

For many people, the kitchen is the centre of the house and one of the first things they look at when buying a new home. When you renovate your kitchen, your chances of selling for a higher price significantly increase. 

2. The Bathroom

It may sound crazy, but outdated bathrooms can discourage buyers from making an offer. If you use a home renovation loan to spruce up a bathroom, you’ll likely see a significant ROI. 

3. The Floors

Home renovation and construction loans are most effective when used to make a big impact. Flooring is one of the first things people notice when viewing a home. If your house still has shag carpet from the 70s, it’s time to make a change. You may be surprised at the difference a brand new hardwood floor can make to the overall value and appearance of your house. 

4. The Appliances

While you may choose to do a complete kitchen renovation, using the money from a home renovation loan to only upgrade your appliances is also a smart decision. Why stop in the kitchen? Consider replacing your furnace or installing a new HVAC system as well. 

Talk to the experts at a mortgage investment corporation about applying for a home renovation loan; they can provide you with advice and knowledge to help you make the right decision for your family. 

Whether you’re looking to borrow or invest, Alta West Capital can help. We offer several lending solutions for first time buyers, individuals and families that are new to Canada, self-employed business owners, real estate investors and more. Alta West loans are fast and flexible to fit your needs. Visit our website to apply online or contact us directly — call (403) 254-9075 or email info@awcapital.ca.

When it comes to making any significant financial decision, it’s important to conduct the proper research regarding the institution you plan to fund your investment and the method you intend to use. Buying a home is no different. In fact, purchasing a home may be one of the most significant financial investments you will ever make. As such, deciding where to apply for a mortgage is a choice that should be carefully weighed and considered. In Canada, there are two main sources for mortgages: banks and mortgage investment corporations, or alternative mortgage lenders. Let’s review how these options are different. 

1. Mortgage Investment Corporations Do Not Conform With Federal Lending Guidelines

Unlike banks, which are federal institutions, the structure of MICs allows them to be provincially regulated. As such, they fall outside of the often burdensome lending guidelines that banks are required to adhere to. It’s important to note that although MICs fall outside of some federal guidelines, they are well regulated by both federal and provincial legislation; they are not un-regulated entities. 

2. Mortgage Investment Corporations Offer Flexible Lending Terms

Without having to abide by the same federal policies as the banks, mortgage investment corporations, or alternative mortgage lenders, are able to offer greater flexibility when it comes to loan terms. This flexibility means they can cater to the individual needs of the borrower with tailor-made loans and terms.

3. Mortgage Investment Corporations Allow For Faster Loan Approval

Regardless of what the loan is for, whether you’re applying for a first-time-buyer mortgage or a home renovation loan, the chances are your loan will be approved faster through a MIC or a private mortgage lender. Borrowers of banking institutions are subject to undergo stress tests and an extensive qualification process; oftentimes, loan approval can take months. MICs, on the other hand, are able to structure plans and approve loans in as little as two weeks. 

Which Type of Mortgage Lender Should I Choose?

Depending on your situation, it may be advantageous to borrow from a private mortgage lender over a bank. MICs and private mortgage lenders are the best options for individuals who require quick approval or have already been turned away from the banks due to the inability to qualify. 

Whether you’re looking to borrow or invest, Alta West Capital can help. We offer several lending solutions for first time buyers, individuals and families that are new to Canada, self-employed business owners, real estate investors and more. Alta West loans are fast and flexible to fit your needs. Visit our website to apply online or contact us directly — call (403) 254-9075 or email info@awcapital.ca.

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.