Buying a luxury home in the picturesque French Alps is an attractive prospect for many keen skiers and snowboarders who spend year after year visiting the area for their holidays. But is it best to build from scratch or redevelop an existing building?
Our guide covers the benefits and pitfalls of renovation vs new build property in the French Alps to ensure you make the best decision when choosing a ski property in the mountains.
Why buy a property in the French Alps?
Desirable qualities of the French Alps go beyond skiing and the snowy mountains;
Year-Round Appeal: Skiing and Beyond
The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range on Earth. They are home to some of the biggest and most iconic ski resorts - such as the Three Valleys - which is the largest interconnected ski area on Earth with an impressive 600km of pistes!
As well as being a fantastic winter playground, the Alps are becoming more and more popular during the summer months becoming, with plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. From hiking, cycling and golf to adrenaline-fuelled paragliding and mountain biking, there is something to suit every taste.
Buying a ski property in the French Alps is a great way to generate income. With high real estate occupancy rates during the ski season, an increase during the summer and resorts improving their infrastructure, there is an opportunity to generate high rental yields throughout the year when buying as an investment property.
New Build Properties in the French Alps
There are many advantages and financial incentives for purchasing a new build, however, for some, a newly built ski property lacks character and charm.
We take a look at the pros and cons of investing in a new-build ski property...
- New build properties are ready to buy-and-go without the need to commit to any major investments.
- New build properties benefit from lower notary fees of 2-2.5% (as opposed to 7-8% fee applied to existing properties.) This means you can save up to 30% on the purchase of a newbuilt apartment or chalet!
- By entering into a commercial rental programme, you can save 20% TVA (French VAT), unique to new builds.
- New build buyers benefit from reduced ‘Frais de Notaires’ or registration.
- Newly built properties have more modern comforts and no signs of wear and tear.
- French new build properties come with a guarantee.
- Buying a property off-plan often allows the owner to customise the property and make it their own.
- Many French Alps developments have a wide range of additional services and tend to be fully furnished.
- Developments built from scratch often come with leisure facilities attached to them.
- New builds save on energy bills and running costs and are fitted with energy-efficient appliances and fittings that comply with the latest energy performance standards.
- Typically a new build property will have a higher purchase price.
- They have serious competition as overseas buyers are increasingly choosing to purchase new builds.
- Some developers pack a lot of properties onto a site to maximise their profits, which can mean a newly built home is less spacious and offers less storage than an older property.
- A newly built home can lack the character and charm of a traditional ski chalet in France.
- New builds don’t always run to plan; it isn’t unusual for the move-in date on a new build property to be delayed.
Renovation Properties in the French Alps
In the context of property and in particular French property, renovation involves taking an existing structure and renewing aspects of its layout, decoration or style or a combination of all three.
For some people, the idea of creating a space that is uniquely their own is a big incentive, whilst for others, it can be an overwhelming and unnecessary task.
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of renovating an existing property...
- The more affordable option - a construction project is likely to have a cheaper asking price than a new build.
- You can decide exactly how it is designed - from the layout and the colour scheme right through to the quality of the finish.
- Bringing a property up to date will add instant value, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, which are rooms that buyers tend to focus on when looking around a property.
- You can own a typical traditional Alpine property that is oozing with character and charm and which wouldn't be found elsewhere.
- Renovating a property can provide a green home with old charm.
- A renovation project is likely to have a cheaper asking price than a new build, but, depending on the property condition, you can end up paying far more than a new build apartment or chalet in both major and minor renovations to the home.
- Once you start renovating a property, you may find yourself spending money on things that you haven't accounted for, such as damp proofing.
- Finding someone trustworthy to renovate your property can be challenging.
- Old masonry, rotten timbers, lack of basic amenities such as water or electricity are just some of the problems encountered by people looking at renovation projects in more secluded villages in the French Alps.
- Renovation projects can trigger building code requirements for safety, accessibility and energy performance improvements to existing buildings.
If you do decide to invest in a convenient, secure and eco-friendly luxury new build property in the French Alps, take a look at our wide range of developments and properties for sale in stunning locations.