Posted on 24 February 2021
Buying a ski property with the intention of letting it out afterward is a great way to both own a chalet in the Alps and make money on your investment. After all, if you’re going to drop a healthy amount of cash on a property for sale in the French Alps, you might as well make money off it while you’re not there.
Now, many buyers looking for chalets for sale look at the leaseback property market and think of all the feet that’ll come traipsing through the apartment. After all, rental properties do see more wear and tear than a private holiday home might. This can give buyers who don’t need to let their property out pause.
Savvy buyers looking at property for sale in the French Alps know, however, that buying to let doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got to plump for a leaseback property. So, what do you need to know if you want your home in the Alps to make you a little extra when you’re not using it?
Register an income and reclaim that VAT
When it comes to property for sale in the French Alps, there are a few sweeteners in the pot when it comes to buying with the intention of letting your property out. One of these is the 0% VAT on properties that will be rented out.
Fortunately for buyers worried about wear and tear, you only need to rent the property out for a few weeks a year for it to qualify for a VAT rebate. As long as you can prove that you’re renting the property out at least some of the time, you’ll see a healthy return that might make you consider that beautiful new-build four-bedroom penthouse you wrote off as too expensive after all.
Ski resorts are rarely at full occupancy all year in any case, but with a small sacrifice of a couple of peak week rentals (and honestly who wants to be in the Alps during February half-term anyway?) you can buy property at a 0% VAT rate and still spend a couple of months of your winter in the Alps. You can buy bigger, in better resorts, and you still get to live your Alpine dream. What’s not to love about that?
The lowdown on leaseback
Buying a property for sale in the French Alps on leaseback means you lease your new home to a rental management property to run. Normally, this means buying a property in apart-hotel style residences, where the services are a little more extensive and often include spa facilities amongst other things. There are several large companies offering leaseback properties throughout the French Alps.
The downside to this, such as it is, is that these are often long-term investments and you won’t be able to spend as much time there are you might if you buy the freehold. Leaseback property is often limited in the number of weeks for which you will be able to occupy your apartment or chalet. There’ll be no spending whole winters in the Alps with this investment property!
Leaseback properties are hassle-free, but they offer fewer options after you buy. You will have to use the rental management company agreed in the purchase, and you may not be able to effect much change if you don’t agree with how the property is being run. This isn’t necessarily an option for everyone, but you’re looking for a pure investment it might be worth considering.
Buying as a Company
If you’ve been looking for property for sale in the French Alps with a view to buying as a company, whatever the reason; be it that you want to buy in between a few different people, or you intend to pass your home down through the family and you want to smooth the inheritance process, you could go down the business route.
This isn’t an option for everyone, but for high-rollers, the Richard Branson route is always an option. Buying a luxury chalet on freehold, in resorts like Val d’Isere or Courchevel, then fully staffing it for the duration of the season, spending a month or two there, and renting it out for short lets is a great way to have your cake and eat it too. If what you’ve always wanted is to holiday in your own private luxury hotel, this is the option for you.
After all, if you love that catered ski chalet experience and only regret the fact that it doesn’t last long enough, why not set up your own little chalet business? It might not be quite as high-end an experience as the full, Branson, nightclub in the basement, chalet, but that’s no bad thing.
Whether you buy big and set up as a business, rent your home out for a few weeks a year, or just look into buying leasehold, buying property for sale in the French Alps and letting it out is an excellent way of making money on your investment.