Top tips for purchasing a ski property

Top tips for purchasing a ski property

The ski season is now upon us and many people will be jetting off to the Alps, Pyrenees, USA and Canada for some snow and après-ski.

If you are a keen skier and are thinking of buying a property in a ski resort, these are the main points you need to consider, according to overseas property and finance expert Simon Conn.

Location: Always make sure that you visit a property before purchasing it, because marketing material, or someone else’s description, can be misleading. Any property you purchase should ideally be near a ski lift and resort facilities such as shops, bars and restaurants.

You are most likely going to rent out your cabin or chalet in order to earn some income from it. Should this be the scenario, make sure it is as attractive as possible to potential holidaymakers. They will not want to get the car out to drive to a ski lift.

The most popular locations for British purchasers of overseas ski property are currently Swiss, French & Austrian Alps, Aspen (in the US) and Whistler (in Canada).

One consideration that will probably be important is whether the property is in a fashionable resort. In France, for example, Chamonix, Val d’Isere or Courchevel are all popular. Such resorts could lead to better rentals and future re-sales.

Resorts whose popularity have waned over the years are Les Arcs and Les Deux Alps, which are both now considered by some as over-developed and somewhat charmless.


Type of property: The construction of ski properties tends to be a little different than ‘normal properties’, where there is often a lot of wood used.

You will therefore need to be aware that there might be certain restrictions from a lender on the types of material that a property can be constructed from, or the style of property.

It is therefore a good idea to get a full survey undertaken of any property you are thinking of purchasing.

Management and maintenance: Whether you are intending to rent out your property or not, you will need to arrange someone to manage and maintain it. There is the obvious aspect of general cleaning and repairs, but also the marketing of the property. Be aware that the charges for these services can vary significantly and need to be factored into your budget.

Snow: This may sound obvious, but snow is something you will have to consider. Make sure you know when the ski season starts and finishes and when the prime rental periods are. Check whether local authorities clear access to major roads in the winter. You will also need to arrange for the snow to be frequently cleared to allow for safe access to your property and relieve the pressure on the roof, otherwise this could cause serious damage.

Summer months: When considering purchasing for rental purposes, you will also want to take into account whether the location of the property is also ideal for summer vacations as this can result in additional rental income. Some mountain locations can be stunning in the summer and attract a lot of walkers, mountain bikers and horse-riders.

In summary, general good practice applies when thinking of purchasing any overseas property, including:

• Check local prices.

• Talk to an English speaking local lawyer and ask him or her to explain to you what the sale contract commits you to entering into before you sign.

• Be wary of pressure from estate agents and other intermediaries. It is sometimes better to be prepared to lose a property than to sign up to commitments you do not understand, or had not been properly translated.

• Ask for a copy of the draft completion document (ie: in France, the ‘acte authentique’), well in advance.

• Ensure that any required funding is in place well in advance.

Happy skiing!

Join our mailing list:

Leave a comment



Latest Comments

Samantha Goodman
Samantha Goodman 11 Aug 2017

Interesting point of view.

view article
Samantha Goodman
Samantha Goodman 11 Aug 2017

It depends on the people, some older adults decide to make a long-distance move in order to live closer to their children or settle in a place with a lower cost of living.

view article
brandonlee10
brandonlee10 24 Jul 2017

The financial ramifications of the triggering of Article 50, the starting gun for Britain's departure from the EU, are far from clear. Buyers will be most cautious in London, given that buying a home in...

view article
IrisJ.
IrisJ. 19 Jul 2017

Great advice, but may I also add that when buying an already built home, make sure you do all of the proper inspections. Most importantly pest inspection because people tend to get surprised when they

view article
IrisJ.
IrisJ. 17 Jul 2017

The third point is, in my opinion, the most important one. People have become too inconsiderate and careless when it comes to rented properties. If a landlord wants to protect their property, regular visits...

view article
cornishalan
cornishalan 10 Jul 2017

Added to the cost of purchasing these village properties are the above average maintenance costs. Particularly where the property is a listed building or requires specialist building skills such as thatching...

view article
Jo Mullett
Jo Mullett 07 Jul 2017

Here in Swansea, known as the Japanese knotweed capital of the UK, it never fails to amazes me that people have no idea of the potential problems this invasive non-native plant can cause when buying or...

view article
NathanG
NathanG 05 Jul 2017

McDonalds, for example, have been purchasing their real estate on prime locations for years. If something happens to the company they'll have invaluable assets that will be able to save them. We might

view article
Jonah
Jonah 04 Jul 2017

Graham: surprised to see you cite the "extra tax liability" as capping out at ?560. It doesn't - the extra tax is exponential, as it is levied on the income (i.e the inflating level of rental income you...

view article
Dianne Griffen
Dianne Griffen 29 Jun 2017

Be very wary of anyone bringing you deals that they have ?found? and want to ?sell on to you? or ?joint venture? with you on ? you need a proper legal contract for this, involve a RICs surveyor to confirm...

view article
jason hadzikostas
jason hadzikostas 28 Jun 2017

The most important thing is a budget. Students have to manage their spendings in food, house maintenance, books and many other things. According to me, student Studios are the perfect option for them as...

view article
SecomTech
SecomTech 22 Jun 2017

AT Last...This was discussed years ago and there was a move towards landlords registering their bad tenants on a database..(can't remember where) It seems a logical step though our leaders will probably...

view article

Related stories

More articles from Overseas