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Affordable Property Alps - which locations?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Let’s use the definition of affordable as being:

Up to 250k for a small detached house / chalet, or under 100k for a plot with building permit.

There are probably many towns and villages where this is possible across the alps, however it is not common knowledge or even known after many hours of research.

To throw some ideas out there, where do you know of where this price bracket is possible, ideally with some ski access thrown in?

Thanks!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

ideally with some ski access thrown in?

How long would you be willing to drive?
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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?
LeBonCoin . fr Enter region, house type and max cost.

for example.

https://www.leboncoin.fr/ventes_immobilieres/1845906955.htm

as pam says, how far do you want drive.
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What sort of m² and number of bedrooms? I ask because there's something of an overlap where you could get an apartment of Xm² but pay a hefty premium for a detached chalet of the same floor area. And the same re number of bedrooms: there's an overlap where all the builder does is reduce the living space to provide a miniscule extra bedroom, keeping the m² the same.

If your criteria is that it has to be in a ski resort within walking/navette distance of a gondola or chair then I'd say you're going to struggle to find anywhere. Conversely, as mentioned, if you're prepared to drive then you will probably find more properties, but then the journey distance/time you're prepared to accept is key. At the extreme, it becomes a search for a cheap property that's relatively (compared to the UK) near to a ski area.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Orelle, dirt cheap and with lift access to Val Thorens plus the haute mauriene resorts
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Quote:

you could get an apartment of Xm² but pay a hefty premium for a detached chalet of the same floor area.

and remember that if you have your own chalet you'll need to make arrangements for things like snow clearance. You could arrive after a long journey and find your entrance blocked off with a mountain of hard-packed snow-plough snow. So you've a big job getting through that even before you start clearing the snow off your own parking space. Arranging for someone to have done that (and all the other maintenance tasks) before you arrive will take some planning. And some French. Or German. Or Italian.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Thanks all some good points made. I am just pondering the question at present thinking and researching various options. We always drive down from Calais so I suppose Haute Savoie would be preferable, in terms of French options, but then again an hour extra or so isn’t going to make a huge different on a journey taking 12 hours from London.

No set size or number of bedrooms as yet, just considering options. Something with some scope to improve / extend is always good.

Orelle looks very well placed for connections to some brilliant terrain, the village looks very small so I can’t see much property for sale at present.

Strangely Roc D’Enfer / St Jean D’aulps is fairly affordable. This is surprising giving its proximity to very popular towns.

Any other hidden gems you know of?
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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!
@capability, I didn't mean how far to drive from Calais. I meant how far would you be prepared to drive from your property to the ski lifts?
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Sorry Pam! Maybe up to 20 mins. I’ve stayed ‘down in the valley’ on many a ski trip and never find it an issue driving up in the morning to a lift.
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@capability, St Jean is getting more and more popular. We’ve stayed there summer and winter and We nearly bought there but got a bargain in Morzine instead. Its a good little resort in winter, in summer it is getting more active but if you’re driving anyway you can pop in the car to access the bigger resorts very easily when you want to.
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Sallanches?
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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.
...or just invest the money in a spread of shares and use the dividends to pay for a few ski holidays in nice ski-in-ski-out hotels...

4% dividend on a 250k investment yields 10k pa, plenty enough to pay for some nice hols, esp when you also add in the costs of getting to & from your alpine pied a terre and all the money you would normally spend while there. The 10k is basically to pay for the hotel, 100 nights at €110 per night or 50 nights at €220 per night, possibly 7 weeks in a nice hotel! And you could go to different resorts each time and explore a whole world of skiing!

Also you can let some one else deal with the hassle and cost of snow clearance, utilities, maintenance, local bureaucracy and the myriad of issues arising from owning a property in a foreign country and just enjoy your time on the snow?? They'll even make the bed for you! wink
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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
@luigi,
Meh, I make that on helium mining and dont need to invest anywhere near 250k
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The points made by @luigi are worth considering - and underline the importance of being clear about your objectives. We spent four months a year in our apartment, and also benefitted from major exchange rate movements (we bought when the euro was at 1.62 to the pound, and sold when the euro was much stronger) and also benefitted to a degree from capital gains in euros - though probably not as much as if we'd bought an apartment in Emsworth, where the property market is very strong! Having your own place saves you the cost of accommodation, but that's not usually the major cost of a ski holiday. If you are in a location where you can get cheap season passes, that makes a difference - but not if you only ski a couple of weeks in the season.

But you cannot guarantee 4% return on investment, of course.....
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Orelle might be convenient for the skiing and easy to access, but what a depressing place... no shops besides ski rental, "village" split into two (a few modern residences and houses near the gondola, and the old hamlet up on the hillside), very narrow valley (the sun barely reaches it in winter)... I would not spend my money there!
Now, do I have any better suggestions... Barcelonnette could do the trick; there is great skiing within a 20 minute drive (or shuttle), but it is far from anywhere else. And the houses there tend to be large (even around the €250k mark), with significant renovation and upkeep costs.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Unless you have lots of money to have someone manage your chalet upkeep or plan on staying extended visits I’d go apartment every time.
Look at the towns on the valley floor just off autoroute blance
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@capability, A Snowheads experience of buying an apartment in the Haute-Maurienne (Modane)

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=148316



==================================


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sun 21-11-21 23:49; edited 1 time in total
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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?
@pam w, how many apartment buyers are looking at serious investment returns though? Its ease, enjoyment and bragability snowHead
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And that's absolutely fine - if their objective is to have something to brag about, or because they know themselves well enough to know that the enjoyment factor will be high. I would quarrel with "ease". It's actually a fair bit of work, buying and managing an apartment - as you probably know. It also takes a bit of effort to understand the way the system works, the role of the syndic, and speak enough French to keep up. And there's nothing easier than slapping the cash down and renting an apartment - anything from a rabbit hutch to a magnificent pad with all the bells and whistles.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@pam w, walking into it just as I left it is heaven. I think having friends and network means we worry less and I can break out the french as needed, but thats a good point, would I look to buy in Austria etc probably not.
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Quote:

walking into it just as I left it is heaven

Entirely agree. My books, my music, my favourite bottle of wine, my comfortable clothes in the wardrobe, my local maps, walking poles, top quality brandy, single malt whisky, jars of tapenade, coffee, favourite chocolates, tea bags, etc.

My bed all ready to get into (made up with clean linen just before leaving), bath towel dry on the rack.

But that's all because of NOT renting out.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@pam w, @Nadenoodlee, Exactly! One of the nice things about our place is we are not allowed to let it out, which also removes any temptation to do so and is easy to put 'off' anyone that asks Very Happy
@capability, Start looking at the satellite villages of large resorts and then nearby villages to those. For example Montalbert is a satellite of La Plagne with a fast Gondola to the main area. Below Montalbert there are some lovely small villages within a 10 minute winter time drive.
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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!
And on that point , the lower villages are often really lovely in the summer too with lots of walking , Beaufort d’ete in the co-op , Boulangerie open …… aaahhh!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
luigi wrote:
...or just invest the money in a spread of shares and use the dividends to pay for a few ski holidays in nice ski-in-ski-out hotels...

4% dividend on a 250k investment yields 10k pa, plenty enough to pay for some nice hols, esp when you also add in the costs of getting to & from your alpine pied a terre and all the money you would normally spend while there. The 10k is basically to pay for the hotel, 100 nights at €110 per night or 50 nights at €220 per night, possibly 7 weeks in a nice hotel! And you could go to different resorts each time and explore a whole world of skiing!

Also you can let some one else deal with the hassle and cost of snow clearance, utilities, maintenance, local bureaucracy and the myriad of issues arising from owning a property in a foreign country and just enjoy your time on the snow?? They'll even make the bed for you! wink


You forgot to factor in the tax on the income. Sad
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But you also need to factor in the opportunity cost of all the ongoing expenses - taxes, maintenance, upgrading. If they are spread over many happy months of occupation, that's not so bad. But for just a few weeks?
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Italy north of Bergamo and south of the main ski resorts

Why

Lots of flights from UK or Ireland to BGY, has been for years , established route
Reliable snow, assuming base over 1500 slm
Good value there compared to France
Extensive Skiing
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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.
@capability,

We bought in St Jean 5 years ago (2 bed apartment up at the ski station) The amount of property on the market there has plummeted in the last 18 months.
St Jean and the PDS is good all year, and prices reasonable in ST Jean. We are thinking of upgrading to a small detached place but currently little around.

We bought knowing we were not making an ideal investment. For us that was not the point, but the advice here re that is valid.

Not regretted it, but eyes wide open and all that.
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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
Nadenoodlee wrote:
bragability snowHead


I think you hit the nail on the head there! Laughing

A lot more sexy to talk at a dinner party about 'our place in the Alps' compared to a well-performing share portfolio!!

But when you have to spend a day shovelling snow when you arrive and a couple of days cleaning cobwebs, redecorating, getting the septic tank emptied, dealing in a foreign language with the local authorities about the various property taxes, let alone dealing with local tradesmen if anything serious needs doing, the shine might just come off that dream!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Kenzie wrote:
You forgot to factor in the tax on the income. Sad


You have 250k to blow on a property in the Alps and you make your wife go out to work?? Laughing

She has her personal tax allowance that would take care of that.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
There are loads of threads already on this topic which are well worth revisiting via the Search facility. But the common theme to them all is to have a fairly definite idea of what you're looking for before you make the final commitment. However, it's not uncommon for people to start with only a vague idea of what they're after. In which case, first doing some excursions out to candidate areas just to firm-up on the criteria you are going to settle on. Of course, this is more difficult in Covid times, but we managed to get out to France and Switzerland with little issue this August-September, and going in the low seasons of spring and autumn is useful as well, in terms of seeing how places are outside the peak winter and summer periods.

Personally, I think that Brits sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that there are loads of bargains and undiscovered treasures in terms of Alpine property. My analysis is that prices generally reflect value and there's nothing about the Alpine market that's any different, but as long as you're realistic, that's fine. Even within a resort, I've found the pricing to be a quite subtle reflection of the circumstances of the property and its location, such as walking time to the lifts and shops; nearness to navette stops; sunshine levels in winter; balcony view; and so on.

I have a friend who relocated to near Perpignan, in the foothils of the Pyrenees. When I visited one April, we swam in his pool one day and skied the next. In the summer, he was only half an hour from great beaches. And in the winter, just an hour and a bit drive from some excellent skiing. So as I said, your budget may be more viable if you take the strategy of having a rural property that's equidistant from summer and winter activities, rather than one that's right next to a télécabine in a resort. It all depends, of course, on your preferences.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All,

I think the desire is as arrived at above. Having the convenience of not having to scour the web trying to find accommodation (which can be a pain), having all of your things there that you need, and getting to know an area in depth and becoming part of a community.

Investments are another subject which don’t really factor here for us, so long as money isn’t lost on the property.

Has anyone on here bought land and built a house / chalet in the Alps / Pyrenees? That’s something that interests me. Very Happy (I am in the construction industry).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@capability, yes. Bought land in 1999 chalet was built for us in 2000. Sold in 2018. Les Gets.
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