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Getting on the housing ladder sooner with Tembo

Are you struggling to afford your dream home? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. 71% of millennials worry they’ll never be able to afford to own their own home. But while rising house prices mean it has never been harder to get on the property ladder, luckily there are a range of new, innovative options to help people buy their first home. 

Tembo is a specialist mortgage broker on a mission to help more first-time buyers get access to homeownership. We’ve partnered with them to give you a rundown of what’s out there for would-be buyers struggling to get their first set of keys. 

Income Boost mortgages

Affordability is one of the biggest issues facing buyers in the market today. Why? Well, most lenders will allow a buyer to borrow between 4-5 times their household income, taking into account outgoings, dependents and their credit rating. But in a market where the average house price is ten times average income, it’s clear that even with a healthy deposit saved, most buyers face a gaping affordability gap. 

A savvy solution to this is to use an Income Boost, otherwise known as a Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor mortgage. Particularly useful for low earners or people in the early stages of their career, this form of guarantor mortgage allows a buyer to add some or all of a family member’s income to their mortgage to increase their maximum borrowing. The family member, or ‘Booster’ as Tembo call them, will be jointly responsible for the mortgage, meaning they’ll need to step in if the buyer struggles to pay, but they aren’t listed on the deeds of the property so there’s no stamp duty liability. 

On average, one of Tembo’s Boost customers increased their buying budget by £64,000. That might mean an extra bedroom, outdoor space, or just buying a home in your dream location. Top tip: use SearchSmartly’s lifestyle-based matching tool to discover what a boost to your budget could mean for you.

To use an Income Boost, you’ll need to have a 5-10% deposit saved. With the average deposit sitting at £59,000 for first-time buyers, that’s no mean feat. Let’s look at the options for those that don’t have a house deposit ready. 

Deposit Boost mortgages

An option for buyers who are struggling to save up a health house deposit is to use a Deposit Boost. This service enables a willing family member or friend to release some of the equity they’ve built up in their own home to be gifted to the buyer. Once it has been gifted, it either tops up an existing deposit, or starts one from scratch, so the buyer can get their own mortgage. 

For those who are struggling to save a 5% deposit, the key benefit of this product is that it helps a buyer to get onto the ladder much more quickly than by saving. It can also offer significant saving potential over the course of the mortgage. This is because a larger deposit means the buyer can access lower interest rates. On average, Tembo’s Deposit Boost customers save a whopping £14,000 in interest fees alone over the course of a 5 year mortgage. 

Private Help to Buy equity loans

If family support isn’t an option for you, don’t despair. There are an increasing number of Private Help to Buy options available from innovative new lenders. These companies lend the buyer money through an equity loan, so that they can increase their deposit. 

Typically interest rates are higher on these products, but as the loan size is much smaller than the mortgage itself they can be a brilliant option for higher earning buyers. Each scheme has slightly different rules and criteria. Tembo’s specialist brokers are fully trained on these more complex products, so if you’d like to discuss further, get in touch with them. 

So there we have it. The latest innovation in mortgages, helping first-time buyers to stop renting and start owning. A final tip: while you’re scoping out your options, remember to be flexible on exact locations, as this will increase your options considerably. SearchSmartly’s matchmaking tool can help you find the hidden gems that could keep your commute under the 45 minute mark!


If you’d like to explore how one of these options could work for you, create a Tembo plan today. In under 5 minutes (and with no credit check), you’ll get a personalised mortgage illustration showing how much you could borrow with a Boost.

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