How to buy a skiing home with your family

Posted on 10 January 2017

Buying a ski property with members of your family is a brilliant way to spread the cost and ensure it gets used to the max. It is also quite a good way to fall out with your loved ones if you don’t plan the purchase carefully and listen to the others.

Here we offer a few basic rules of buying a property abroad with friends or family.

Head, not heart, should lead the way.
In every decision, from the choice of location to the style of the sofas, it is usually best to opt for practicality over style. In location, for example, you may have happy memories of a certain French ski resort, or just love a particular restaurant there. But if the airport access is better at another, maybe your cherished memories should take a back seat to the practicalities for the rest of the buyers?

This is your chance to drag your kids away from the dreaded computer screen!

Think ahead, way ahead.
Property is a long-term commitment and a holiday home for the whole family might not just be for you and your kids, but your grandchildren and even their grandchildren. Even in the short term, children grow up quickly and their needs change. Teenagers like some independence on holiday, which means that easy access to the nursery slopes will soon come second to being a short walk from a lively cafe and shopping area. On the other hand, this is your chance as a parent to drag your kids away from the dreaded computer screen. Consider your own needs as you grow older too.

Decide who are the decision makers.
Who is in charge and how you will they decide on the type of property? Here is an idea; separately, each decision maker should look at the properties on this site and note down which they love, like and dislike. Now share your lists – you may be surprised at what your other buyers really want.

When you know who will be the decision makers, each should download a guide to buying a property in France. You can get a FREE guide by clicking here. You all need to read it so you all understand the processes – don’t let one of the group feel like they’re doing most of the legwork!

Work out your budget.
That includes all the buying costs including the currency exchange rate. Contact Smart Currency Exchange for a free and no-obligation chat about your options for locking in a currency via a “forward contract” so you know how much you have to spend.

Be clear about usage.
Inevitably, some members of the family will use your property more than others, while others will have preferred times of the year or months for visiting. If there are likely to be clashes, why not introduce a rotation system. It pays to sit down at the start of the year and ask people to give an idea of when they might visit. Don’t forget summer usage too.

Remember, strong fences make good neighbours.
In the same way, laying everything out in terms of how your ski home will be used, shared, paid for and sold, is likely to save you potential heartache in the long-run. Ownership and inheritance is a most important aspect here, bearing in mind the fact that half of marriages don’t last.

Most importantly of all, enjoy it!
This could be the greatest gift your family ever buys itself.

For a step-by-step guide to buying a property in France, download the France Buying Guide by clicking here.


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