Start Your Property Search and Ski by Winter

Posted on 30 July 2021

How to Buy a Ski Chalet in Less Than Six Months: Megeve Restaurant Picture

So you’ve decided it’s time to buy a ski chalet! It’s the end of July, and there’s a lot you’ll need to get done if you want to be on the ski slopes by December. We take you through how to buy a ski chalet in less than six months. 

From deciding on the resort you want to buy in, to finding the perfect property, and exchanging contracts, buying a ski property can sometimes be a long, drawn-out process. Luckily for you though, we here at Skiing Property are experts in property and in the Alps, so we’ve got some tips to help you out. After all, what’s the point in buying a ski property if you can’t start using it immediately? 

So, what do we recommend when you’re asking how to buy a ski chalet in less than six months? 

Pick a Resort You Already Know

We’re assuming you know your way around a resort or two, and when you’re trying to buy quickly you’ll need to narrow down your choices as quickly as possible. Focus on buying in resorts you know well because when you’re already on a time crunch you don’t want to be wondering what this resort is like in winter. 

When it comes to how to buy a ski chalet in less than six months, the less you need to worry about choosing a resort the better. For example, if you spend most of your holidays skiing Verbier, Val d’Isere, and Meribel, focus on buying a property in one of those resorts. 

If you’re devoted to the Three Valleys, you’re doubly in luck, because there are plenty of properties for sale across all three of the valleys. If Meribel and Courchevel 1850 are a little out of your price range, other resorts within the ski area might be a better fit. Plus, the resorts are close enough to visit all at once!

Visit ASAP

Across the Alps, August is the peak of the summer season. Visiting in August is the perfect time to visit if you’re not planning on spending inter-seasons in this resort. This is because there’s no need to try and find out what it’s like during the low season. More than that, the actual process of making an offer, getting a mortgage, and signing the contract can be a little longwinded. You will want to get viewing properties as soon as you can. 

If you’re looking at how to buy a ski chalet in less than six months, you’ll be wanting to get the ball rolling. Getting your visit started early is one of the best ways to do this. Beyond that, making specific enquiries about properties you like is a good idea. If you can head out to the Alps with some idea of which properties you’re planning on viewing, you’ll have a smoother journey to finding that perfect property. 

After all, if you’re planning on getting everything done in record time, you’ll need to get started!

Look at Key Ready and Resale Properties

There will be some off-plan developments that are close enough to their completion date that you’ll probably be able to ski by winter. However, you might want to make sure you choose one that has at least managed to be weatherproofed before the unpredictable September rainstorms hit. If building work has to be delayed thanks to poor weather, your exchange date will be delayed. That means you may not be able to move into your new home as soon as you thought. 

If you focus on buying a property that’s already finished, you don’t have this problem. In terms of buying quickly, a key-ready property is something of a holy grail. This is because it doesn’t depend on the current owners slowing down the sale. With that said, the right resale property will sell quickly too. If you’re looking to move into a ready-made home, it can be a far easier process to just buy the whole property, complete with furnishings. 

A key-ready property has the least possible complications. It is, therefore, the best option when it comes to how to buy a ski chalet in less than six months. 

Get Your Financials in Order Ahead of Time

Need a mortgage? Start looking as soon as you can. Talk to the mortgage broker about whether you’re approved to get a loan before you even start looking. Trust us, you’ll want to be absolutely certain you can get a mortgage before getting your hopes up. 

Once that’s done, you might also think about opening a bank account and transferring the funds you might need to pay a deposit, taxes, notaries, and lawyers. If you’re a cash buyer with no need for a mortgage, this process is less complicated. You will still need to sort out getting your funds together and work out how you’re planning on buying. For example, cash buyers in France might want to set up a company to buy under, which will need setting up ahead of the actual date of completion. 

Thankfully you can transfer power of attorney over to a good, bilingual lawyer for some of this paperwork mountain! That said, you will definitely need to set up the bank account in person.

Find a Local Notary and Lawyer that Speaks Your Language

Buying a property is no time to be dealing with a language barrier. Either you need to enlist the services of a translator to help you navigate the occasionally treacherous property market without getting overcharged or plain scammed by dishonest sellers. Neither of these are particularly likely in the heavily regulated French and Swiss property markets, but it’s better to be safe. 

You will also need a bank account manager who speaks your language. If you’re buying a property off-plan, you will need some way of communicating with the property developers and project manager. Not being able to communicate properly can be an issue. Buying in France is likely to get especially tricky if you haven’t got a translator on hand, as many contractors will only speak French. Fortunately, most resorts are home to excellent translators who can help you!

Take a look at our selection of French and Swiss ski property for sale, and see if anything whets your whistle. If you have any questions, or you’d like to enquire about a specific property, please don’t hesitate to give us a bell. We know the process of buying an international property can be difficult, and we’re always ready to lend a hand.

If you’re envisioning whizzing down the slopes towards your new home this winter, but you’re not sure how to buy a ski chalet in less than six months, we hope this helped!