Meet a British owner in the French Alps who is “living the dream”

Posted on 26 February 2014

For David Windell, an accountant from West Sussex, owning and renting out his chalet in the Savoie region of the Alps enables him to pursue his two passions in Iife, skiing and paragliding, for five to six months of the year.


David bought his six bedroom property in the village of Montagny for €362,000, including fees and taxes. He dedicated two summers paragliding and touring the French Alps in search of the right property and estimates he saw between 150 and 175 properties before finding his chalet, which is 15-20 minutes’ drive from the Three Valleys and Paradiski ski areas.

“I’ve bought with a tracker mortgage from BNP Paribas and benefited from the reduced mortgage rates in France, so I’m now paying around 3 per cent interest,” said Andrew, who can keep on top of his work by working remotely when he’s in France.

To keep the Sterling cost of his mortgage to a minimum, David uses a currency specialist to send money to France, thereby getting a better £/€ exchange rate than if he sent the monthly payments direct through his bank. He also saved money by using the currency firm to transfer the balance to France for the purchase of his property.

“Typically I transfer around €2,000 to France each month, which covers the mortgage and running costs of the property,” adds David. “I had 10 weeks occupancy last season and that about covered the costs. I try to be fair with my rental charges and don’t push the price up during school holidays. Renting out the property helps me to afford to enjoy skiing and paragliding, I don’t do it to make lots of money.”