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!

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Latest Comments

MBM Homelets
MBM Homelets 23 Mar 2017

Although this is a very positive step, there is little or no guarantee of the standard of workmanship employed by the tenants. We have had experience of a professionally decorated property being ' painted'...

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ajay
ajay 21 Mar 2017

How is the "robust evidence" looking now?

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NathanG
NathanG 20 Mar 2017

I've been watching the series so far and am completely baffled by the cases that were presented. Though, I don't think that we can protect ourselves from every scam possible - it will just make the scammers...

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Landlady14
Landlady14 01 Mar 2017

You would think so Niraj Shah! My experience only proves that there are varying qualitiers of professional in all aspects of property letting. None of the ones I have dealt with, from letting agents to...

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Mark
Mark 01 Mar 2017

Thanks for this article. Hopefully one day everybody's lifestyle will be eco-sustainable.

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Ben Taylor
Ben Taylor 28 Feb 2017

I was convinced that London was the most expensive!

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Alan Read
Alan Read 28 Feb 2017

Australia are leading the way in this I think. The trouble with Britain is we don't get enough sun to make use of solar power.

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James Powell
James Powell 27 Feb 2017

This is a very good news.

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DanHumphreys
DanHumphreys 27 Feb 2017

It sounds like a good idea. Anything to help the younger generation get a foothold.

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Matt
Matt 20 Feb 2017

Is this fake news?

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Matthew Hollywood
Matthew Hollywood 07 Feb 2017

Matthew Hollywood - Director Mishon Mackay Land & New Homes - Brighton The shortage of New Homes is in part effected by the lack of land sales. Land sales are held back because there is a disparity between...

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CommercialTrust
CommercialTrust 30 Jan 2017

Hi Graham, Would be interesting to see the above figure calculated against an investment via a Lt Company /SPV structure and if the investor found themselves pushed in to the higher tax bracket. Mortgage...

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