Ready to make a property purchase in the French Alps? There are many things to consider before taking this step and becoming an owner. Below we provide information on how to buy a ski apartment in France.
Financing your Property Purchase
French Banks offer exceptional deals for international investors in France. With historically low-interest rates and long term fixed rates, it is the best choice when considering becoming an owner in France.
Are you Eligible for a French Mortgage?
We partner with some of the best international brokers in France that specialise in assisting international clients to find the best solutions. Generally, French banks require more information than what you may be used to back at home so be prepared to provide copies for a lot of documents that relate to your financial position.
At a minimum, it is necessary to have between 20% and 30% of the total property purchase price available. French Banks may ask for this to be held as collateral, depending on the offer.
Ski Apartment Deposits for Non-French Nationals
Securing an apartment is possible by paying a 2% deposit. This takes it off the market whilst you proceed to sign the reservation contract. This initial deposit is held by a French Notary and is refunded if the sale does not proceed. To do so, you are given the details of the French Notary (IBAN number). We can connect you with one of our partners that offer great transfer rates.
Foreign Cash Buyers
If you are looking to fund your purchase without a loan, you can take advantage of great transfer rates with one of our partners. Payments are due in instalments, so funds will be requested at different stages following the progress of the development.
How Long Does the French Purchase Process Take?
The process of buying property an off-plan property in France can be broken down into stages;
- Signing a Pre-Reservation Contract and paying a holding deposit
- Sign the Contract of Reservation (VEFA Contract)
- If required, obtain financing
- Signature of the Deed of Sale
- Payments are then made in instalments, at different stages of the development
- Delivery of your property and handing over of the keys
- If desired, set up the management and concierge services
Depending on when you find your ski home, this process can take anywhere from a couple of months to 2 years. The reason being is that it may have just come to market, or is being built, close to completion, or in fact, completed.
Finding the Right Ski Home
When considering French properties for sale, the first step is to reach out to a reputable estate agents with experience and offices in France, connections with the developers and existing ski chalets and apartments.
Ski Chalet or Ski Apartment?
Choosing a Ski chalet or Ski Apartment really comes down to your selection criteria. Often a Ski chalet will be situated in the village, or just outside, on a larger plot of land. Prices are much higher than apartments, however, if you wish to have a number of bedrooms, then this is right for you. Ski Apartments, on the other hand, are found in larger Chalets, usually all located in the centre of the ski village, with various facilities located at the residence.
New Build, Serviced Property or Off Plan?
An important consideration is the age of the building. In France, there is RT-2012 regulation. For all new builds, this must be followed, which requires the use of high-quality sound and thermal insulation. That is why there is a demand in new builds, due to their high energy efficiency. Most ski apartments will have a serviced option, which is a great way to have a hassle-free solution in the French Alps.
Look to the Future
Review the Resale Prospects for the Ski Area & Property Type
Ski Chalet and Apartment configurations can be very different across ski villages. This provides a good indication as to the type occupancy and number of people in the village across the seasons. As discussed above, new builds are very much in demand now, due to the quality of build materials used. However, some villages lack space, so you will often find older buildings being renovated.
Is the Resort Popular with Good Rental potential?
Clearly the more in demand the village is, the higher the occupancy rate and return. Although, what we now know from experience is, that there is an increasing demand in smaller villages. Investors are looking to smaller villages, due to space and possibility to buy new, as well as the ambience and atmosphere of the village itself. Each station focuses yearly spending on developing the accessibility, which means a smaller village once not accessible to the larger domain, will soon be with the new ski lift.
Advice on Choosing a Ski Area
Choose a Ski Resort With Dual Seasonality
Double season villages are becoming more common. Families do not holiday by the sea as much as they used to, preferring the high altitudes in the mountains. As a result, resorts are redeveloping their villages to meet this demand, with brand new aquatic centres, electric bike trails and outdoor summer activity events.
Check out the Resort Amenities
Double season resorts mean having facilities for both seasons. You will often find newer residences including wellness areas with indoor pool, spa, sauna and steam rooms. As well as kids playrooms. These are fantastic additions that are accessible and beneficial across both seasons. Take for example our residence Le Snoroc in Plagne Montalbert, or Le Flocon Blanc in La Chapelle d’Abondance. Both very typical dual season villages.