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You’ve thought about it, dreamt about it, actually considered it as feasible, maybe even started looking for some ski property for sale, and now you’ve finally decided that it is time to become an Alpine home owner. While the desire to become a homeowner in the Alps is strong, you shouldn’t rush into a decision without first considering some important aspects. This is why we’ve put together our best advice when looking for ski property for sale. Here’s our top 5 tips.
This seems intuitive when looking to buy property in general. Researching the market should always come first, but in the case of ski property for sale, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to research. Popular or high-demand resorts are most obviously the first place to look, but don’t mistake popularity for luxury or high price. Extremely expensive resorts aren’t always the most popular or the only popular ones. While well-known and advertised skiing locations in the Alps can be a sure deal when buying property, the purchasing of a chalet in one of these resorts might also mean a higher price paid when buying, but not a higher income from rent. As such, the best tip when looking for ski property for sale is to research those resorts that are not as expensive, but still quite popular with the skiing aficionados.
2. Consider up-and-coming resorts
If you cannot find any property at a reasonable price amongst the popular but less expensive resorts, then try a different market research technique. Dig deeper and see what the trends are. Which is the most likely resort to become the next big thing? Find a couple of locations that are the best candidates and start looking for property in the Alps. But since this isn’t a sure deal, there are risks. While the gains might be big since you caught on the trend early and bought your house at a reasonable price, you might also end up with a chalet that isn’t faring as well as you hoped because the trend turned out to be just a fad. So bear in mind that when going for up-and-coming resorts, you might not necessarily strike gold.
3. Off-season opportunities
Buying high-altitude property in the Alps will ensure better slopes, but it might also mean fewer opportunities for renting or using off-season. If you are acquiring a chalet with the intention to spend as much time as possible there, even during late spring and summer, then you might want to consider properties at lower altitudes as these generally offer more opportunities for outdoor activities during the warmer months. In terms of ski slopes, you might have to rely on snow cannons for late and early winter, meaning inferior-quality snow. But not everyone is as picky when it comes to the piste on which they are sliding down and it might be worth the risk. This way you will have a chalet that can be used or rented year round. If you are interested in this type of property, be on the lookout for chalets that have nearby picturesque lakes, stunning landscapes, multiple hiking trails, and outdoor activities.
4. Match the resort’s visitors with the property
When choosing to buy property in the Alps, it is also essential to know the type of visitors specific to your designated resort. For example, some resorts are more popular with families with children travelling alone or accompanied by family friends, while others cater more to the needs of younger couples or groups of friends and to the needs of younger generations such as millenials. Depending on your location, you should look for property that matches the visitors to make the most out of your chalet. If your chosen resort is extremely popular with families, then invest in a bigger chalet that has amenities fit for a family of four or more and includes a separate space where children can play without disturbing the adults, with a big garden where they can run around all summer long. No point in buying an intimate couples retreat.
5. Beware of hidden costs
When looking at ski property for sale, you should always take into account the hidden costs of owning that chalet. Ignoring all the expenses that pertain to the actual purchasing of the property, you should always bear in mind when calculating your budget all the maintenance costs. You won’t be there year round to take care of everything and a leaky roof, a window that doesn’t close properly anymore, or the central heating system not working will be a nightmare for your tenants and for yourself. Consider things carefully before buying, so that you have enough money left for maintenance if needed.
If you need more information pertaining to purchasing property abroad, you can find useful advice on the gov.uk website. Make sure you seek out all the advice needed before committing to anything and there will be nothing standing in between you and your dream property in the Alps.
When most of us think of owning alpine property we are imagining a lifestyle change involving refreshing holidays in the heart of the Alps, filled with mountain activities such as skiing and snowboarding or hiking and lake swimming in the summer. But some of us are also thinking of getting a nice return on our investment. After all, property investment is property investment even at 2000 meters altitude. And, for now, alpine property is still the most sought-for mountain retreat location, with Austria being the most popular country when it comes to buying. Switzerland is close behind as a top choice since both these countries have the highest participation rates when it comes to skiing activities - over 35% of their populations are active skiers. You can’t get more authentic than a lovely Swiss atmosphere on the slope and within the resort.
Regardless of the alpine country one chooses, alpine property is an investor’s dream. But why is that? Why do so many people invest in this type of property and how do they make the most out of it? If you’re thinking of investing in alpine property, then this article will tell you why you should contact our alpine estate agents as soon as you can.
The simplest reason why you should look into alpine property investment is because other people are also looking for it. This means that 1) if you change your mind and want to resell it, you have a decent time window in which to do so, and 2) you can have a decent return on your investment from renting.
Let’s see what the numbers are telling us. First, the Alps are the home of 44% of all global ski visitors and, as such, represent by far the world’s most popular skiing and winter sports destination. If you are going to buy mountain property anywhere in the world, then this is the place.
In terms of winter sports infrastructure, the Alps could not do better in comparison to other locations - 10,000 lifts spanning the entire length of the Alps ensure easy access to ski slopes. While France isn’t doing too bad when it comes to modern equipment, Austria has seen a recent revamp that makes its lift infrastructure the most modern in the industry (heated ski lifts, complete with WiFi). Bearing all this in mind, it’s no wonder everyone wants to go to the Alps for their skiing holidays. Why would you settle for anything but the best?
2. Your own comfort
Renting aside, you might just want to invest in alpine property for your own comfort. After all, it is your property we’re talking about here. If you are an avid skier or you are considering a lifestyle change that implies active holidays, then money spent on expensive hotels close to the slope might be quickly drilling a hole in your pocket.
In that case, the solution is not choosing mediocre ski slopes and mildly pleasant resorts, but investing in an alpine property that can host you and your family during your holidays, while also storing your ski gear. This way you don’t have to rent skiing equipment and you can enjoy the comfort of having ski items that fit you to a tee and that are yours and only yours.
We’ve mentioned this before, but now it’s time to tackle it in its entirety. When it comes to property, renting offers the biggest investment return and in an area that is as popular as the Alps, the renting revenue won’t fail to disappoint. So, if you’re worried about the rest of the year when you’re not holidaying in the Alps, just remember that you can always rent your chalet. And, if you really want to make the most out of your property in terms of rent, you can travel yourself off-season and rent it during peak season.
When it comes to renting there are two possibilities:
Austrian resorts have recently capitalized on this growing market trend. Here’s what a recent report from AlpineMarketing says: “The Summer market, which has always been strong in Austria due to its favourable altitude, has developed even more in recent years. Mid-altitude resorts are buzzing all year round. Ski lifts run all day, offering access to green pastures, hiking routes, and beautiful mountain huts. Tourists and homeowners are drawn by mountaineering, beautiful flower meadows, and stunning Alpine lakes.” If you’re thinking about Switzerland and biting from a savory chocolate bar while summer trekking in the mountains, then Villars is the right choice for you. This resort will offer stunning vineyard views and a refreshing vista over Lake Geneva.
4. A worry - Aging skiing population
A growing concern in the alpine property industry is the aging skiing population. Switzerland is already dealing with this issue and more and more people are starting to wonder whether or not the younger generations will be as thrilled as the past ones when it comes to spending their money in winter resorts. But as recent studies have found, while the skiing population might be declining, there are far more people interested in off-ski season alpine activities. This might mean, in the long run, a much better opportunity for investment, since longer periods of the year will be buzzing with tourists. No need to rely solely on the maximum four months of winter-related activities. So, take advantage of this and have a look at what the Swiss alpine property market has to offer.
Worries aside, alpine property represents a sound investment for the future, offering both comfort to you as the owner and great returns if you are considering renting. With summer activities also on the rise, you might see yourself making a nice sum of money all year round by contacting alpine estate agents and acquiring an alpine home, neatly hidden between mountains of snow.