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The Guardian calls this advice... (in brief: couple are buying their flat from their landlord and want to know what to do if the surveyor says it's not worth the mortgage amount. She tells them to get finance to make up the shortfall :blink::blink::blink: ) Obviously, it's not possible that they are making a huge financial mistake and should negotiate with a landlord who otherwise faces about 5 months of trying to sell on the open (dodo) market.


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"If your current bank won't lend you the money, you could try one of the lenders such as Northern Rock, which allows you to borrow more than 100% of the lender's valuation "


This unbeliveable comment is the kind of thing that has driven the

bubble. It is the kind of "advice" that will lead people into negative

equity and possible ruin.

For any journalist to advise a couple to go for over 100% borrowing

when prices are evidently dropping is not only irresponsible journalism,

it is frankly crass stupidity.

There is no caveat at all in her advice..... no mention of the risk.


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I've always known the Grauniad to be a bunch of f*ckwits but this "advice" is unbelievable!

How about renegotiating the deal armed with the banks valuation???

But no. The "landlord may think that you can't afford the property"... oh the shame!

Well that certainly puts me off buying WHICH? if that's the level of consumer advice you get!

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I am a West Ham United supporter and I go to almost all home games. It is often the case that a big name player who did nothing all game is awarded man of the match by the press, or someone who has often performed badly is slaughtered despite having a good game. What I'm saying is that in this instance, reading a 'knowledgeble' report and comparing it to what I saw with my own eyes reduces my opinion of sports journalists to pretty low levels.

Personal finance journalism is equally shocking (this is a prime example), in fact most of the time that I read about a subject that I know a lot about I find myself ripping much of it to shreds. It does make you wonder whether to believe anything you read.


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Please note that Virginia's responses are intended for guidance only and are offered without any legal responsibility. None of the information provided constitutes any form of recommendation and is not intended to be relied upon by you in making any investment, mortgage or other financial decisions. You should always obtain independent professional financial advice before making such decisions. 

So about as authoritative as the "bloke down the pub"

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In general, financial journalists come in a few different shapes and sizes:

1. Young, ambitious, but very inexperienced - swallow everything they are told just about as readily as the person in the street, maybe more so, because they are trying to fit in and get on.

2. Ambitious and cynical - don't really believe 100% of what they are writing, but go along with it.

3. Mildly corrupt (experienced and inexperienced, although the former have less of an excuse) - they enjoy the parties, junkets, lunches, etc. that go with the job (and some VIs entertain VERY well).

4. Totally corrupt - they know what they are writing is rubbish and may lead innocent people into trouble, but they are ambitious and greedy.

5. There are some, like Patrick Collinson, who try hard to avoid all the above and work for some of the few publications strong and independent enough to stand up to the industry.

Remember that at the end of the day, it is usually the advertisers, not the readers paying their 50p, who pay the bills and make the profits for the publication.

I do not know the journalist that other posters are talking about and none of the above is intended to apply to her or any other person mentioned in this thread.

Edited by Key Worker
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