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French Leaseback Scheme

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Anyone with first-hand experience of using this scheme to buy an apartment or chalet? Any pitfalls / recommendations from your experience? Good / bad people to use? Would you recommend it?

PM if you prefer, thanks very much,
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
J2Dave, What do you want it for???? A silly question but one that is not often thought of. For me it wasnt the best option as I want to use it myself and family for a number of weeks in the season. If you want it as purely an investment that is another matter. See what you need to borrow and then see if the guarenteed rental will cover mortgage and local taxes. I was lucky in the timimg when I purchased, I gather the prices have gone up and it can be difficult in finding good properties at the moment.

Good luck if you want to send me a PM please do so.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
We decided not to go for a leaseback purchase as it didn't give us the flexibility to use the apartment when we wanted. Things like long weekends are difficult with leaseback as you allocated weeks are on a Saturday-Saturday basis.
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
Thanks Rob and Roy... looking at it as an investment I can use, albeit on a restricted basis. I think I can make the numbers / usage equation work for me (obviously nothing to stop me taking weekends elsewhere!); just want to make sure I'm getting what I think I'm getting.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Some "misapprehensions".... quoted from the LeasebackFrance.com site ... which goes on to detail the real situation in France.
Quote:
Statement: “The French government gives you 19.6 percent off the price of the property…”
Fact: NO, the French government gives you nothing on leaseback sales. The VAT tax incentive is a real discount off the market value of the property giving a VAT refund on the whole property from the French government. The current rate of VAT on all new property is 19.6%.(this refund represents a 16.4% discount of the market value normal selling price)” See above + on refurbishment leasebacks the rate of TVA is 5.5% and is applicable only to the percentage of the price that represents refurbishment.

Statement: “You choose the weeks you want to use yourself and….."
Fact: NO

Statement: “At the end of the lease period, the property will be returned to the owner in perfect condition., ……..”
Fact: NO

Statement: “The return is linked to the cost of living index……..”
Fact: NO

Statement:"Your property is fully managed and serviced by the property company who lease from you and you have no further costs or charges for the period of the leaseback……..”
Fact: NO
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Where are you looking to buy Dave? From the small experience I've had, it is quite easy to rent out your own property yourself, therefore giving yourself the flexibility to 'reserve' periods for yourself.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
PG, thanks for that - for some reason hadn't found that site so will take a look, but interesting set of "misapprehensions"; just about nails all the perceived benefits!

sarah@alpedhuez, ... not really sure where yet but somewhere French in character with access to good (fun, rather than crevasse-ridden dice-with-death country (;^) ) free-ride / off-piste terrain - that still offers good value. Not asking for much I know but thinking of places like Le Chinaillon (above la Clusaz - but maybe not quite high / big enough ski area), Puy St vincent, Termignon, maybe La Rosiere, etc. Samoens appeals for the character, close to Geneva and access to Flaine, etc.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I've just bought a chalet in Puy Saint Vincent, take ownership and hit the slopes in 3 days time yipee !!!!!. I had the same misgivings about the leaseback arrangement as everybody else does ie the lack of flexibility. I asked around friends and family and realised that it would be quite easy to rent it out myself. As a result I enquired of the developers if it would be possible to buy the property outright, and after a bit of persuasion they agreed to it. Obviously it costs more as you do have to pay the VAT but at least you get to use the property when you want and to rent it out to people that you know.

The agent that we used have an office in the UK, www.vefuk.com

Hope that's of some help if you need anymore info please feel free to ask but you'll have to be quick as I don't know if I mentioned it but I'm off skiing in 3 days time Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
J2Dave, I guess you know all these areas well, I've never been to Puy but heard that its really pretty - a true chocolate box resort in the FRENCH Alpes and the 2 don't always go together! Our next door neighbours here in ADH have a place in Termignon for sale and apparently someone has made a very low offer which they are not prepard to take. The whole surface is 50m2 and divided into 2 studios, they said that it was really pretty, in a traditional stone build. But the village is a little way from anywhere which might make rental a little difficult perhaps. I've been to Samoens in the Summer - its a really stunning place but perhaps again not ideal for rental opportunity - shout me down anyone who thinks I'm talking out of my ***** . I know that a new devolopment is planned in Vaujany (part of the ADH ski area), but I think we're talking big bucks. If you like I can find out which agents are dealing with it. As Easy Jet are flying to Grenoble soon it might open up your options. Smile
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Sarah,
I'm in the process of buying a leaseback in Termignon. Sent over my deposit to notaire already but am actually flying out in a couple of days for a long weekend. Just want to have a butchers at site/orientation etc etc . Then Skiing in Val Cenis and trying runs back to Termignon if snow is OK.Checking out drive from Turin to resort! Done loads of research but at the end of the day you have to be prepared to take a small risk as for area, location some of the more popular resorts are at times approaching saturation point. I wanted a place which is still off the beaten track but has potential + you have to look at things like summer month activities etc. I may still change my mind but limited usage doesn't bother me, I rarely Ski more than twice a year (contractor!, no work no pay!). Also you find some of the companies allow you to chop/change weeks with their other developments, which I like the sound of. At end of day I would say if your stretching your finances don't do it but if your comfortable ? French bank has offered me something like a 2.95 % for 70% mortgage !!!

p.s How much are your friends selling their place in Termignon for and did they tell you why ? If you don't mind me asking Embarassed
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
J2Dave, I was not as brave as some of the others in renting out the property directly. Possibly because I live in Ireland and we do not have the same access to the market as you guys in the UK. I always thought it may be a headache to do it this way. One year I was unfortunate and had a leak. As I had it in the hands of a local estate agent, they got it cleaned up and replastered etc., and I did not have to travel over there to supervise. Peace of mind is a great comfort.

I appreciate the estate agents charge ridiculous fees @30% but they market it for me and unlike many estate agents in Spanish seaside resorts, they seem to be quite honest. They have a web site and the proprietor can type in his code and see the availability of the property, so if you fancied a weekend or a week you just fly over and you know there wont be any one staying without the owners knowledge wink

I find that either xmas or the new year week plus the four weeks in the French half term can pay for the mortgage, all you then have to find is the taxes and I am sure that you will find them in the other eleven weeks of the ski season. Ignore summer rentals, if you get them they are a bonus but don't include them on your business plan.

Do any snowheads out there rent directly? I would be interested to hear how you get on!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Roy Hockley, I bought a property in the Canaries about 20 years ago, leaseback. Big mistake. Bunch of crooks ran the system - they were supposed to pay local taxes and maintenance charges out of income, but one year they didn't. I wasn't aware of what was happening - until I turned up a couple of years later for a fortnight's holiday and discovered I'd be taken to court for non-payment of taxes! Appeal? Not possible under Spanish law, if not lodged within one year of the judgment! I was fined the equivalent of £1,000. Sold up eventually - after 10 years the property hadn't even appreciated in value. Planning laws were so lax, there were new buildings springing up everywhere.

Property in France, I let out direct. Partly through snowHeads, partly through the Central Reservation bureau in Bourg. It's easy when you're on the spot - you can nip round a fix a leak yourself, etc. Estate agents will let on your behalf but locally they charge some 30% - and you have to commit yourself to them - they won't allow you to let out weeks yourself once you sign the contract.

We discussed buying a chalet-style property between snowHeads here some time ago. Perhaps we should take another look at this some time? Afraid other matters took priority at the time and I did next to nothing about following it up, but still, could be an interesting project...
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Wheely, sounds great! Have a good time... wink

sarah@alpedhuez, I only know Termignon on a virtual basis (we met in a chatroom - oh, no that was someone else, er...) so would be interested to know why your friends are selling too! Think the Vaujany development may not be quite what I'm looking for but I'll take a look anyway - thanks.

Type23, be interested to know what you think of Termignon - I'm hoping to get out there mid Jan to take a look but work may prevent me getting away.

Roy Hockley, interesting - for peace of mind and marketing I don't think that's too extreme, especially if you can trust them! Where is your property?

Hmm, lots to think about while I shake the Euros out of my piggy bank....
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
J2Dave, Avoriaz. Some friends of mine have had similar experiences toPG, so was aware of how some estate agents operate. Perhaps I was just lucky with my local agent. Have not had any trouble so far, thank god.

PG, I remember the chat relating to the chalet. I was interested then and still am now, but like youPG, the real work has taken the priority Sad so not given it a thought, however if there is anything in the pipeline please let me know.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
J2Dave and Type23, , Our friends are selling as they inherited a largish house in the same village (her mother was a real born and bred and had a bit of property there). They have deceided to keep the big place and have no need for the little house - they have 2 or 3 other places dotted around, so no ghostly tales etc...I think price wise they are looking at around 120K (£) for the 2 studios together - or of course separately for about half! I've never been there - was meaning to this Autumn, but never got around to it and now the Cols are closed (as the crow flies we're only about 90mins away), but a fair trek via Grenoble!

Roy Hockley, I started renting out property up here this year for the Tour deFrance which went really well and have continued doing so this Winter - first guests out tomorrow! Suprisingly the only week yet completely fully booked is in March!! So far so good doing it on your own! Very Happy Very Happy
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