An unexpected side effect of 2020 has been the increase of interest in owning a ski chalet. More and more people are discovering the benefit of clean mountain living, and the joy of having a space to work, with their favourite hobby just moments away. With so many resorts seeking to deliver a year round offering for visitors, owning your own alpine property has never been more appealing, and while the domestic market will keep prices stable in the short to medium term, it's important to keep abreast of new additions to the property pool so you don't miss out.
This is all well and good - but how can you get to view these properties ? Travel restrictions look likely to be with us for a good few months, so naturally trips overseas may still be a challenge. That doesn’t mean putting your ski chalet dreams on hold though - here are our top tips for viewing your ski property from overseas.
Questions to ask yourself
The first step is exactly the same as any when you’re planning for any property viewing. Think about where you want to be and what you want to have; are you desperate for mountain views? (who isn’t?), do you need somewhere to entertain family and friends? Is the icing on the cake a hot tub to relax in after a day on the slopes? Think about what your ideal alpine retreat would have and jot it down.
In terms of location, it’s likely that you’ll have spent some time in resort already, but deciding to buy a ski chalet means it’s time to fine tune your research. Our investment guides are a great place to start. You’ll find an overview of the resort, details about what to do when you’re not skiing, as well as practical information about transport and investment potential.
Questions to ask about the ski chalet
Alongside the usual property questions you’d ask when buying any property, there are a few ski chalet specific ones to explore:
Find out about transfer times, typical (i.e. non-pandemic) visitor demographics, price fluctuations and future investment. Tourist and municipal offices are a good port of call for this sort of information.
Explore what investment is planned to get an understanding of how your investment will fare in terms of both rental appeal and resale potential.
Year round appeal
Working remotely is set to become part of our lives and being sure your new ski chalet is in a location with year round appeal will give you maximum flexibility in terms of how you use your alpine home.
That being snow sure is a big draw and the appeal is obvious but it’s also worth considering lower altitudes. Prices will be cheaper and local investment means you’ll still have access to the slopes.
Resale or new build?
A perennial question - new builds generally have more state of the art facilities and are superbly located for easy access to the piste. The downside is these premium facilities come with a premium price tag, but high resale potential and good rental ranking goes some way to offset this. Meanwhile, what a resale may lack in polish will often make up for in charm, and if you’re looking for a family ski home with long term potential, this kind of property is worth considering.
What tools are available for viewing a ski chalet from overseas?
First stop is a straightforward property search tool. You can use these to see what’s available and to refine your search - something especially useful in resorts with a good selection of properties. Using a dedicated ski property portal like SnowOnly means you can be sure you’re seeing everything that’s available, without having to trawl through tons of agents’ sites. This is a good time to sign up for property alerts too, to be sure you don’t miss out on your dream alpine hideaway.
Agents are harnessing the power of 360° virtual viewings along with videos and you’ll find many properties, especially new builds, have top notch tours . They generally include some snappy visuals about location and facilities as well as 3D rendering of the property so you can get a real feel of how your new ski chalet will work for you.
You may also want to think about engaging someone to view on your behalf to attend viewing appointments and give detailed visuals and feedback about investment and lifestyle potential. Various property management companies and agencies wll be happy to do this for you.
What research can I do?
A quick search on Google maps will help you find out about things like those all important transfer times, restaurants and bars as well as other facilities like spas or play areas for children. Most resorts also have comprehensive websites that help you understand what to expect all year round, and give you a good feel for the town you’ll be investing in.
It’s also worth looking on municipal websites to get a feel for the day to day life away from the tourist trail, and find out about practical things like schooling and important local events.
A single trip
You may still feel twitchy about making that final decision without seeing the property in the flesh, especially if you’re looking for somewhere for personal use rather than solely as an investment. Thorough research means you can keep your viewing trips to a minimum and snap up that star property, so you’ll be able to kick back and relax in your own piece of alpine paradise all the sooner.
Free property alerts
To help you keep on top of what’s available, SnowOnly has a free property alert service - it’s straightforward to complete and means you get the benefit of our expertise and range of properties direct to your inbox so you know you won’t miss out on snapping up your dream ski chalet.
If you have any concerns about moving to France in 2021 take a look at this ‘How to live in France after Brexit’ guide from property guides.com to help you plot your way through the post-Brexit landscape and fulfil your alpine dreams.