Purchasing a chalet or ski property in the French Alps is an awesome way to invest in your lifestyle and provide yourself with a stunning home away from home that you can visit to make amazing memories on and off the slopes during the ski season. And, with more and more French Alps resorts offering more to do during the warmer months, the French Alps are a popular place to visit throughout the summer too. If this sounds like your dream, we’ve come up with this handy guide to purchasing a chalet in the French Alps.
Why Buy a Chalet for Sale in the Alps?
There are many reasons to consider purchasing a ski property in the French Alps. These include:
The French Alps are where you can find some of the best ski slopes in the world, including the Three Valleys which boasts the biggest interconnected ski area worldwide, with eight resorts home to a huge 600 kilometres of pistes. You will find some of the most iconic ski resorts ever located in the French Alps including Meribel, Val d’lsere, and Courchevel.
More Than Just Skiing:
While it’s known for its skiing, the French Alps offers plenty of things to do away from the ski slopes, whether you want to visit one of the many fabulous Michelin-starred restaurants in the area serving delicious dishes or relax in the several fantastic mountain spas. And, the summer months have almost as much on offer as the ski season, with lots of outdoor activities like golf, hiking, mountain biking and paragliding.
Chalets for Sale Have Great Investment Potential:
Although owning a chalet in the French Alps is great for your lifestyle, it can also be a fantastic income-earner. If you do not plan on living in the chalet permanently, there are a lot of opportunities to earn a strong rental income throughout the year with high demand in the winter and growing demand in the summer.
What to Consider When Looking for French Alps Chalet for Sale:
If you are considering purchasing a French Alps ski property, here are some of the main things to consider when choosing the right chalet for you:
A French Chalet for Sale in the Right Location:
As with purchasing a property pretty much anywhere, the location is important when choosing your French Alps chalet. Spend some time thinking about the ski resort that you like the most in the French Alps, and consider where your property is going to be situated within the Alps. If you are looking for the most convenience as a skier, the ski-in ski-out properties offer pistes right on the doorstep and fantastic views of the slopes. In addition, think about whether you would want to be close to restaurants, shops, and amenities, or don’t mind travelling to get to them.
Type of Ski Chalets for Sale:
There are both new build and resale properties to consider when purchasing a chalet in the French Alps. The type that you choose is mainly down to your personal preference, but it’s worth considering that each type of property comes with a unique set of benefits.
New-build properties tend to have more financial incentives, including smaller notary fees compared to existing chalets. If you decide to rent the property out when you are not staying there, you are also eligible to reduce the property price by 20% with a VAT rebate. In addition, new-build chalets tend to have more contemporary comforts and fewer signs of wear and tear. And, all new-build properties will come under warranty.
A resale chalet is often the best choice for buyers who want a ski chalet that they can move into or rent out straight away, since there is no need to wait for a new-build property to be delivered. However, resale properties do have a more expensive notary fee but tend to be priced less overall compared to new-builds.
Ski Chalets for Sale in France – Choosing a Resort:
Each French Alps resort offers a unique skiing experience and ambience, and the apres-ski culture will also vary between resorts. It’s important to think about the type of resort that you’d like to stay at when choosing a chalet. Courchevel, Val d’lsere, and Meribel Centre are the ideal choices if you want to stay at a ski resort with a thriving music scene, great dining places and lots of bars, while Meribel Village or Levassaix are the best options for those who want somewhere calmer and quieter. If you’re planning to stay in the chalet with your family, look out for resorts that have been given the Familie Plus Montagne award – these resorts offer infrastructure, services and activities that are specifically designed for families with young kids.
Consider Your Non-Negotiables:
The huge range of ski chalets available in the French Alps can be overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to come up with a list of what you are specifically looking for in a chalet, and any areas where you might be willing to compromise. Consider the physical elements of the property, such as how many bedrooms it has, and any additional comforts or features that you might like such as swimming pool and spa facilities or gym access.
Consider Your Return on Investment:
As when purchasing property anywhere, it is crucial to consider the value of your investment over the long-term. It is a good idea to do some research into the various French Alps resorts to discover the planned developments and infrastructure improvements for the future that could impact the value of your chalet, from new tourist facilities to new ski lifts planned to open nearby.
Research the Developer:
If you are purchasing a new-build chalet in the French Alps, it is important to spend time researching the project developer. Find out if this is a single project of theirs or if they are highly experienced with ski developments. Many developers will offer virtual tours and CGIs that are worth taking advantage of to get a better look at the property. Wherever you can, ask to see if they have a demonstration or show chalet that you will be able to visit, or if you can see photos and videos of their previous work, to get a feel for the quality of the build.
Where to Purchase a Ski Chalet in France:
With such a variety of different and unique resorts, it is often tricky to find just one ski resort that is perfect – and it’s all about discovering the one that is best for you. Here are some of the most popular ski resorts in the French Alps to consider:
This authentic, charming and family-friendly resort in Les Portes du Soleil is active all the way throughout the year and is a major hub for mountain biking along with skiing. There are various areas to choose from when purchasing a chalet from the quiet and peaceful Perrieres area to the village centre.
Located in the huge Portes du Soleil ski domain around an hour and a half from Geneva by car, Chatel offers a quintessential French mountain village. If you’re looking for a rustic-style, charming chalet with easy access to one of the largest and most popular ski areas in the Alps, Chatel is for you.
One of the most iconic ski resorts in the French Alps, Val d’lsere not only offers an awesome skiing experience but some of the best views in the Alps and an amazing apres-ski scene. Although this resort has been around for a while, it is constantly evolving and developing, making it definitely worth investing in.
The biggest and one of the most well-known ski resorts in Les Portes du Soleil, Morzine offers a year-round experience with a family-friendly atmosphere, a huge range of ski terrains to choose from, and plenty of character. With over one hundred restaurants on site, it’s no surprise that this resort is a popular choice with foodies.
Situated right in the centre of the famous Three Valleys ski domain, Meribel is loved for its sunny atmosphere, extensive pistes, and family-friendly services. This resort is made up of many different villages, each of which offers a unique appeal and atmosphere.
Another village located in the Three Valleys, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville is home to quintessential French architecture and many amazing restaurants. Along with great skiing opportunities, this authentic Savoyard village also offers an excellent selection of hiking trails and is active all year round.
This resort is one of the most diverse, offering the rustic charm of Courchevel Village to the glamour and glitz of 1850. With various different and unique villages to choose from, understanding the individuality of each village here – and the prices that can vary by up to 50% between them – is key if you’re looking to invest in property in Courchevel.
Skiing in the French Alps is an awesome pastime, and investing in your own ski chalet can make the experience even better. With high demand in many resorts all year round, it’s also a fantastic investment opportunity.