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Tips for making French ski home ownership more affordable

Posted on 14 November 2014

Owners of ski homes in the French Alps could save thousands of pounds each year through careful planning for the winter season and shopping around, said ski property specialist Skiingproperty.com in November.

“Low mortgage rates in France and a stronger pound are attracting an increasing number of buyers to the French Alpine market in 2014,” said Julian Walker, director at Skiingproperty.com. “First-time owners will discover that ski homes do incur more expenses than for example a beach home, but our following tips can help to minimize those costs.”

Skiingproperty.com’s six money-saving tips for new ski homeowners.

–  Use a currency transfer specialist to exchange Sterling and send euros to France, not only to purchase your ski home but also to keep your French bank account topped up to cover running costs. You’ll get a far better exchange rate than you would if you simply asked your bank to make a currency transfer. Consider using a pre-paid currency card during your skiing trip.

–  Buy plane tickets early. Book flights to Geneva for the coming winter season as soon as EasyJet and other airlines release their winter schedules. If you plan to make a number of visits out to your ski pad but are unsure of your availability, book a selection of dates – if you end up not using one set of flights, you’ll still have saved overall by booking early.

–  Take the car. A great benefit of the Savoie and Haute-Savoie regions of the French Alps is that they are within a comfortable motorway drive from Calais – approximately eight hours. If you’re travelling down with a family or in a large group, this travel option will be cheaper than flights for everyone plus hiring a car.  Similarly, drive out with items for kitting out your property and stocking up with provisions, as prices for consumables are typically high in French resorts, as is eating or drinking out.

–  Look for bargain equipment. Being able to keep ski equipment at your ski property means not having to hire it each year, but you can save even more money by shopping around for your skis, poles and other paraphernalia. Search on-line discount stores or wait for the end of season sales in the local stores in your resort. If you choose to hire equipment, the best deals are usually found by booking early and on-line.

–  Look for discounted ski passes. Like residents, as a second homeowner you could be entitled to a discounted season pass. Otherwise, look out for end of season and family discounts. Also, if applicable, decide whether you need a full lift pass or a cheaper one covering just your local area.

–  Consider leaseback. It’s the hassle free way to own a luxury ski property, which should cover all your running costs. With a leaseback property your property is managed by a holiday company to service ski operators. You receive fixed rental income but your personal usage is limited and will depend on the deal you decide on. However, new leaseback properties are VAT exempt and free from one of France’s two types of council tax for a set period.

Skiingproperty.com has a selection of properties in the French Alps, including apartments from less than €200,000 to €12million chalets.