Oct 10, 2022 / LIFESTYLE

Looking to make a ski property a long term home? Read this first

At the start of the year we mooted the idea that remote working was here to stay and this still seems to be very much the case. Figures from Cimalpes show a 20% increase in long term rentals this year, with a particular preference for small village type resorts. This article looks at the types of long term residency, how to choose a property that will appeal to those seeking to work from home as well as details around finding a space that’s suitable for all the family. For this article, we’re going to focus on France, but the principles can be adapted to whichever country you want to make your home. 

Types of long term ski property occupancy

Long term occupancy falls into two broad categories. There are those who are looking for somewhere to extend their family holiday for a few weeks, or to enjoy a couple of months living and working in the mountains, and those who are looking for somewhere that could be a primary residence for at least part of the year. 

The appeal of working from home in the mountains

It doesn’t take a genius to work out why living and working in the mountains has so much appeal. Invigorate body and mind with a pre-work ski, unwind and rejuvenate with a post-work soak in your balcony hot tub…it’s as idyllic as it sounds. To work from home successfully or to have a rental property with WFH appeal, it’s worth doing a bit of research.Here are our top five tips if you’re seeking to buy a ski property with long term rental appeal. 

Make sure your ski property is easy to get to 

Whether you’re looking for somewhere that will appeal to the work from home rental market, or a home for yourself, it's essential to be able to reach the property easily. Everyone’s idea of “easy” will vary, but looking for somewhere that’s within an hour and a half of an airport or international train station will maximise the property’s appeal. Resorts like Chamonix or Les Gets or Morzine are good places to start, or somewhere like Samoens, if you’re looking for somewhere with true village appeal. 

Consider a property with international rail access

As skiers become more aware of the ways to travel responsibly, it’s worth considering proximity to international railway stations too. Somewhere like Alpe d’Huez has bags of dual season appeal, and can be reached in just over seven hours from London, and just four hours from Paris. Most trains allow a set of skis to be carried along with your luggage, and have special storage areas to make transporting them as hassle free as possible. 

Make sure your property has top notch connectivity

It’s pretty impossible to work from home successfully without fast, efficient connectivity. This is something that will vary, and will have a big influence on a buying or rental decision. France leads the way in terms of fibre connectivity with 67.3% of homes now having fibre broadband and a target of full fibre coverage by 2025. Other key ski countries fare reasonably well, with Switzerland having 49% full fibre connectivity, Italy at 47% and Austria at 35%. This is of course subject to change and even countries with lower connectivity expect to improve quickly. 

Fibre broadband isn’t the only way to connect of course, and many digital nomads find that mobile connectivity works just as well. Countries with a wide range of providers fare best - increased competition means increased enthusiasm to be the best service provider. 

Make sure your space will work

Looking for a space to live and work in takes a little care. There’s a need to be sure of being able to focus on the job in hand, and the ability to properly switch off at the end of the day. One of the biggest challenges to people working from home is to ensure their work life balance remains intact. With careful management working from home can have a hugely positive influence (no more grinding commute, less interruptions etc.) but there is a danger of letting that one work email eat into down time. 

  • Think about the ski property layoutA spare room can easily double as an office but it’s worth thinking about how this will work with the rest of the property. If people find it hard to switch off from work, then they may prefer somewhere with a separate area that could be adapted as an office.
  • Think about the surrounding propertiesA fabulous hotel style resort may seem like a great spot for a work from home pad - no stress about where to go for that after work drink, superb spa facilities on tap. Is it really such a good idea? If you or your guests are likely to be surrounded by people making the most of the facilities and the apres ski then a productive work day could become challenging. A stand alone property may be a better option, or an apartment that has appeal to other long term residents. 
  • Think about outdoor spaceThis might sound a little ridiculous, after all your property will be surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. Having a little corner outdoor space to enjoy as a break from the working day, or over a sip of morning coffee will have a huge impact on the property’s appeal, be it a beautiful garden or simple balcony. 

Step out from your ski property to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and wind down from your work day

Stay ahead of the market

A ski property that offers a great work from home environment, and ticks all the boxes when it comes to the practicalities like connectivity and ease of access is a real gem. As the figure shows the long term rental market is growing, and it follows that a property that really meets the needs of remote workers will be a sought after space.

To stay ahead of the market and be first to know when a suitable property is available, simply join our property alert service. It can be tailored to your needs, and because SnowOnly is a ski property portal you can be sure of having access to mountains of property without having to trawl countless agencies.