Posted on 12 December 2016
Buying a ski property in France – or any holiday home abroad – is like having your gateau and eating it. You use your ski property and then at the end of the season you still have it! Indeed, most property actually makes you money. Here are three tips for choosing a ski property that gives and gives.
For a nation that doesn’t get much snow – but grinds to a halt when it does – Britain is teeming with skiers and snowboarders. It’s easy to see why: some of the finest slopes and resorts in the world are just a short flight away and you can drive to the Alps if you fancy a road trip. It is the price of accommodation that tends to put people off, but there are good ways of ensuring that the property you buy is not a cost, but an investment. To make the best investment, here are three factors that separate the best properties from the also rans.
New lifts, shops and hotels
According to a new report from Knight Frank, what really impresses ski home-buyers is the financial commitment of resort owners. That includes lifts being upgraded or replaced, smart communal areas such as shopping malls and open-air food courts, snow parks, plus all the ways of accessing the resort. You don’t need to do all that research yourself necessarily, just watch out for luxury brands opening shops and upmarket hotel groups committing to the area – they will have done the legwork already! Not only will all this mean that you enjoy the resort more yourself, but the more visitors you see in a resort the higher the rental returns and the more valuable your asset will be.
When the snow eventually melts don’t be left counting the days until the first dump of the ski season. Buying in a region with plenty of summer visitors will mean two bites of the cherry when it comes to renters. What does that mean? Firstly, do the lifts operate in summer? Are there cycling events planned for the summer? Is there a summer festival? A great example of a resort doing this well is Chamonix, which thanks to an ongoing investment plan has become a multipurpose year-round resort.
As any serious mountain enthusiast will tell you, before you set off, have a plan for getting out! Just as knowing in advance how you can get down again will save your skin if you’re climbing Mont Blanc, it can save your savings when you buy and sell your property investment too. So while you’re all excited at buying a gorgeous home in the mountains and the salesman is offering you the earth, what will you be offering to potential buyers a few years down the line? This is especially pertinent if you are buying a new-build property or off-plan, where agents may be offering rental guarantees – you won’t be able to offer that when you sell – so are the basic qualities of the resort or the property enough to compensate? Factors that will up your appeal when the time comes to sell include: location, access to an airport and amenities, views, ability to ski-in and ski-out, plus the usual basics of adequate parking and storage.
For more information on buying property in France, download the FREE France Property Guide here.