How to decide what new chalet or apartment to buy in the French Alps to maximise your investment and lifestyle goals
There are a number of factors to consider when buying a new ski apartment or Chalet in the French Alps, particularly if French is not your mother tongue and you are unfamiliar with the French legal and financial system and the buying process in France as a whole. Avecoeur is uniquely placed to offer a 360 degree service for its clients from finding the right property to obtaining the finance and renting it out if you choose. View our services for property investors in France and services for property owners page to see more details on this.
The VAT rebate for new property in the French Alps
If you choose to rent your property out once you have bought it then you can benefit from being refunded the VAT included in the price and details of this can be found on our VAT rebate page. VAT is included in all new build French properties (like most countries) but the difference in France is that you are able to have it refunded to you if you rent it out for some of the time via a company like Avecoeur. There are also other benefits of buying a property off-plan in France which are worth considering.
Where to buy a new ski apartment or Chalet in the French Alps
Choosing where to buy in the French Alps will depend on your budget, criteria and lifestyle and investment priorities however below are some good rules of thumb if you are looking to rent out your ski property.
If you want to be able to achieve a good occupancy rate and tariff when renting out your ski apartment or chalet you need to buy in a resort that has access to a medium to large ski area (above 150km of slopes) and at an altitude that is either snow sure (generally considered to be above 1800m) or with quick access via ski lifts to altitudes of this height and higher. The ski resort must also have a good level of amenities such as a ski school, shops, restaurants and bars. Less important, but still in need of consideration, are the ease of access of the ski resort from major French cities and from the airport: as a general rule the transfer from the airport to the ski station should be under 2 hours, certainly under 2h30mins. The major airports that service the French Alps are Geneva, Lyon and Grenoble. The charm and architecture of a resort are important for reselling but less important when renting out, however, if possible a charming ski resort is what you should be aiming for. The cherry on the cake is of course if you can find a ski property that is ski-in-ski-out and with views of the mountains. An added bonus, if you can get it, is to buy a property in a ski resort with a summer rental season but this really is just a bonus since income from summer rentals only makes up about 15% of your total rental income from renting out a ski property. To help you decide which resort is for you it is worth taking a look at our Ski resorts in France guide.
Ski Apartment or Chalet
If you have the budget to purchase a detached or semi-detached ski chalet then that is great but it is not necessary to generate a solid rental return and it is more important to get the location right than to buy in a less desirable area where you can afford a chalet. Also, chalets rarely have their own facilities like a swimming pool, sauna, hammam jacuzzi etc and these are often facilities that people will look for when renting a property in the French Alps.
New build or existing older property
If you are looking to rent your property out for a certain amount of time with a rental management company like Avecoeur, then because of the VAT rebate available on new build French property, it really is a no-brainer. While a new build property in France is typically 15% to 20% more expensive than an older property, this is offset immediately by the reimbursement of the VAT. Then when you add in all the other benefits of buying off-plan property in France such as the reduced notaire fees and the build guarantee it skews all the advantages in favour of a new apartment or chalet, provided it is in the right location. In addition new build properties are ready to rent out immediately and will not require renovation works for a long time while older properties inherently require some renovation and could have expensive imminent communal charges such as a new roof for example. View our page on the new build buying process in France through Avecoeur for an understanding of the steps involved.
View our new ski properties for sale in France page to see a curated selection.