If you love winter sports or charming towns with stunning mountain views, then buying a second home in the French Alps, where you can spend your days in a luxurious, high-end chalet in the heart of a premier ski resort, is a no-brainer. And while finding a home in the French Alps is often a dream come true for many buyers, it’s also a practical and sound financial investment. With so much popularity and tourism, the French Alps is prime for rental opportunities.
Why Should You Invest In Alpine Property?
There are a number of reasons why French Alps property makes for a smart investment:
- Diverse Investments: There are several types of properties in the French Alps, ranging from luxury apartments to sprawling chalets. This provides a lot of investment options to choose from, and you can choose a property that aligns with your budget and preferences, not to mention market demand.
- Rental Market: The French Alps attract tourists year-round who want to hike, ski, and spend time in nature. As a property owner, you can have consistent rental income.
- Value Appreciation: The French Alps have exclusive property listings that are in high demand. It’s likely that your property value will appreciate over time.
- Quality of Life: If you’ll be spending some time in your French Alps property between rentals, you’ll be able to enjoy the lifestyle that comes with it — unbeatable scenery and natural surroundings, cultural events, and thrilling sports, for starters.
The French Alps has so many resorts and property types to choose from that it’s an intriguing location for all sorts of buyers.
Can Foreigners Buy Property in the French Alps?
Yes! There are no restrictions against overseas buyers investing in property in the French Alps, as well as the rest of the country.
Buyers will follow a purchase process that’s similar to what a French national undergoes. For example, they’ll sign a preliminary contract, pay the deposit, and use a notary to finalise the sale. Note that the mortgage and financing process tends to be different for overseas buyers versus French residents, though.
One of the main considerations for foreign buyers investing in French property is the financial aspect, including currency exchange rates, transfer fees, and taxes. It may also be difficult to understand the buying process if you’re not fluent in the language. In that case, it’s will be wise to hire legal and language assistance to guide you through.
What to Consider When Buying a Rental Investment Property in France
Here are a few of the top considerations when buying rental investment property in France:
Ski Resort and Popularity
Ski resorts in the French Alps range from low-lying village resorts to high-altitude, purpose-built resorts. When investing in real estate in the French Alps, the general rule is that the larger the ski area, the better. Where there’s more terrain, there’s also more appeal to all types of skiers and snowboarders, from families with young children to expert-level skiers.
Altitude is another consideration. Properties with higher altitudes have more reliable snowfall and better winter sports conditions. Should snow cover rates in France drop in the future, high-altitude properties will be in particularly high demand because they have better snow reliability.
Location and Resort Accessibility
Location and resort accessibility are important considerations when buying French Alps property, especially if you plan to use the home for rental income. Prime locations have access to amenities, attractions, and ski lifts, as well as airports and major transport routes. It should be easy for travelers to get to and from your home, even during the wintertime when travel is more difficult.
Also, note that resale value is affected by location and accessibility. The more central the location, the higher profitability you may see when you decide to sell.
Managed developments in the French Alps have amenities and services that are especially appealing to investors who want to earn rental income:
- Professional management services to take care of security and maintenance. You don’t have to be present to handle issues that arise. Also, some managed developments also take care of rental management so you don’t have to find your renters yourself.
- Turnkey properties that are fully equipped and furnished. These homes are able to be rented and used right away without investing in decor, furniture, etc.
- Resort-level amenities that are available to renters. Managed developments often have fitness centres, on-site restaurants, spas, swimming pools, and other conveniences.
Managed developments are appealing to renters while making the property owner’s rental business easier to run.
In order to get the most you can from an investment ski property in the French Alps, the resort should be lively even outside of the winter season. Luckily, summertime in the French Alps is beautiful and far from boring.
There’s plenty to do once the snow has melted, including biking, canoeing, climbing, fishing, golfing, hiking, and whitewater rafting. An entire day can be spent with a camera in hand, too, capturing the area’s breathtaking views, vibrant flora and searching for stealthy wildlife.
The best rental properties in the French Alps tend to be in-resort apartments and ski-in/ski-out luxury chalets, especially if you’re hoping to rent out your home for the season. Consider the area where you’re buying property and the types of visitors the resort attracts.
For example, if you’re in an area that appeals to families, a larger chalet is a smart choice. On the other hand, if you’re in a destination with a busy nightlife scene, you may attract younger renters or couples who prefer an apartment instead of a huge home.
Where To Buy a Rental Investment in the Alps
Buying property in the French Alps offers stunning scenery, high-end accommodations, exciting activities, and exclusive financial opportunities. The following six areas of the French Alps are fantastic options for a real estate investment.
The energetic and sporty Tignes resort area has high snow reliability and plenty of ski-in/ski-out properties to choose from. The area’s high altitude means you can engage in year-round winter sports, including ones that get your adrenaline pumping — the local terrain park has hosted the Winter X Games. Snowboarders are especially fond of Tignes, with the Swatch Snowpark being ideal for daredevils.
The renowned ski resort of Val-d’Isère is in the Tarentaise Valley, and it offers varied ski terrain for all levels. The charming alpine village looks straight out of a storybook, and it has après ski entertainment like gourmet dining and vibrant nightlife. Summertime activities in Val-d’Isère include hiking, glacier skiing, and mountain biking.
As the central part of Les 3 Vallées, Méribel is one of the world’s largest ski areas, catering to all levels of skiers. Other winter sports here include cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and tobogganing, and during the summer, you can go hiking or mountain biking. There’s also a strong après ski scene in Méribel with numerous cultural events, festivals, and nightlife spots year-round.
Courchevel is also part of Les 3 Vallées, and it’s best known for catering to the most exclusive clientele in the French Alps. You’ll find luxury ski facilities here, including meticulous slopes and modern lifts, and there are high-end shopping, dining, and spa amenities to choose from. Of course, there’s also a wide range of winter and summer sports to partake in.
Morzine, which is linked to the Avoriaz ski resort, is located in the Portes du Soleil area of the Alps. What was originally a French mining town is now a world-class resort known for its modern ski facilities. Lively and charming, the town of Morzine has preserved its character thanks to traditional chalets made from wood, stone, and slate.
Many consider Chamonix to be the capital of the French Alps, and it’s also the quintessential destination for adventure lovers. Thrilling and diverse, people head to Chamonix to engage in sports that push the limit, like extreme skiing and alpine mountaineering. With Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the French Alps, in the background, Chamonix is also known for hiking and sightseeing.
What Is the Property Buying Process in France?
After selecting your investment property in the French Alps, you’ll need to make an offer in writing to the owner. If that offer is accepted, both parties will sign the preliminary contract, and you’ll pay the deposit.
Next is a 10-day cooling-off period during which you can change your mind without penalty. Following the cool-off period, the conveyancing process begins.
Once any final arrangements have been made, the remaining payment is due, and both parties will sign the deed. The home is yours!
To learn more about the property buying process in France, access the complete guide here.
HOMEHUNTS property buyers agents are able to find beautiful, luxury French Alps property based on your specific search criteria. Search our site and browse the selection of luxury homes. You can also speak directly to one of our property consultants by calling +33 (0)970 44 66 43.