Home to some of the world’s most glamorous ski resorts, the colossal peaks of the French Alps draw millions of visitors every year. Bustling resorts like Chamonix offer the best of both worlds too, boasting both perfect powder-white winter skiing and the most stylish summer holidays. This, combined with steadily increasing property prices, have made the French Alps a popular destination for those seeking to buy a holiday home or invest in property in the alpine capital of the world.
Along with the French Riviera and Paris, properties in the French Alps’ ski resorts are the most expensive in France – but they also offer hefty investment opportunities. Chamonix is one of the most popular and dynamic resorts to invest in. It’s welcomed skiers since 1906 and hosted the world’s first winter Olympics, but it also retains a year-long draw with a strong rental market throughout the year. Val d’IsèreVal d’Isere and Megève are two of the most expensive ski resorts, while resorts further away from the ski lifts and further down the mountain tend to be more affordable.
The acquisition process in Chamonix and the French Alps can be complicated if you don’t have a full-service agency at your disposal. You will need a notary from the outset to process the sale and draw up legal documents, including the ‘Compromis de Vente’ (offer letter) and the ‘Acte Authentique’ (the final contract). If you’re purchasing a new-build, legal fees will set you back around 3% of the purchase price, but this can rack up to 7% if it’s a re-sale. Most one-stop-shop agencies will already work with trusted legal professionals. We strongly recommend working with an agency that can advise on mortgage brokers too, since most French banks offer mortgages up to 70% over a lending period of 15 years. Here are three recommended companies for helping you find properties for sale in Chamonix and the French Alps.
Mountain Base, Chamonix Property
Founded in 2004 by directors Andy and Matt, Mountain Base has since become one of the highest regarded property agencies in the French Alps. Unlike many foreign estate agencies, the business holds the Carte Professionale, which means the team can guide you through the entire buying process rather than handing you over to a local agency at the end. The business focuses exclusively on properties in Chamonix, offering a range of apartments, chalets and land plots. The entire team live and work in Chamonix too, and have developed excellent working relationships with local agents, builders, architects and notaries to help simplify the process for you. If you’re looking to purchase a property to rent, Mountain Base also offers a rental service and investment advice on income return.
Find out more at Chamonix-Property.com
Established in 1999, Alpine Property was one of the first estate agencies to cater exclusively to international property buyers in the region. It’s grown into a full-service estate agency and one-stop-shop for buyers looking to purchase property across the whole of the Haute Savoie region. With over 50 years of combined industry experience, the team has excellent relationships with local banks that can offer mortgage advice, notaries to help with wading through French bureaucracy and online cost calculators to help you with your stamp duty, legal fees, loan repayments and capital gains tax. The business boasts a strong marketing department that offers 360 virtual tours, detailed floor plans and high-spec colour photographs to make it easier for long-distance buyers too.
Find out more at Alpine-Property.com
Cimalpes is at the forefront of the luxury real estate service business in the French Alps. The business was founded in 2003 with a vision to transform the mountain real estate business by leveraging the practices and values of the luxury hotel sector, which is prominent in the region. Cimalpes only select the best properties for sale in the Alps’ most spectacular resorts, including Chamonix, Méribel and Val d’Isère. Currently, the business has over 500 properties for sale and 800 for rental, and it’s also the sole agent and exclusive key holder for almost all of them. The business offers a comprehensive service that encompasses sales, rentals, property management, concierge services and consultancy.
Find out more at Cimalpes.com