Who says that France’s ski resorts are just for skiing? There are plenty which attract tourists all year round, with the chance to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities (no snow required!) in beautiful surroundings. As a result, they provide an ideal investment opportunity for many.
Each alpine season has a unique aspect. The snow gradually melts away revealing an abundance of radiant flowers and blossom, colours all the brighter for being at altitude. Temperatures suddenly rise and the terraces of bistros become the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely lunch in the sunshine.
Forays into the mountains can be as gentle as you like, since in mid-summer some of the ski lifts remain open to transport walkers and mountain bikers up to the alpine pastures. A hike or cycle ride might take in some of the many pretty little villages and ancient hamlets to be found dotted around the hillsides.
There are also opportunities to play golf, go swimming in one of the lakes or open air pools and take part in more extreme pursuits such as whitewater rafting and paragliding. A whole host of activities is available to children, including tree trekking, horse-riding and rock climbing.
Mountain air provides a slightly cooler environment than that to be found in inner cities and on exposed beaches. This creates a comfortable atmosphere ideal for enjoying action packed days out of doors, which leaves visitors feeling thoroughly rejuvenated.
Whilst the snow is kept at bay, the summer months offer prospective ski property purchasers a great chance to explore the local vicinity. An area that has a permanent community will allow for French life to be enjoyed the year round whilst purpose built ski resorts tend to be restricted to winter business.
It is worth weighing up the pros and cons of buying a ski-in ski-out property in a purpose built resort against a chalet in a traditional alpine village, which may not be quite at the foot of the slopes. The latter option may prove to be much better value for money since you would be able to use it or let it out throughout the year.
Sita who is an estate agent in Morillon and one of our Premier Partners said, “Even in areas such as the Grand Massif where there is an excellent snow record, there can be years when snow is lighter. You know you have the right place when this would not be a disastrous prospect”.
In Sita’s opinion, “Some of the best buys at the moment are older chalets which may need a bit of modernisation. These are often difficult to sell because foreign buyers find the prospect of renovation work rather daunting. However, experienced local estate agents who know the local builders can help point you in the right direction.”
Andrew is an estate agent for the Chamonix area and another of our Premier Partners. He says, “As rental incomes become more important to investors and second-home owners, focus has shifted to genuine year-round destinations – Chamonix attracts more visitors in the summer than in the winter.”
He adds, “For investors, it has to be a good time to buy as, against all expectation, the rental market has held up very well and some agencies are reporting record revenues. This may be a result of holidaymakers avoiding package deals and keeping costs down by renting privately owned self-catered properties”.
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