<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
5 ISSUES FOR £5 Subscribe to France Magazines today click here

Different ways to buy a ski property in France

PUBLISHED: 15:46 15 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:46 15 November 2016

Val Thorens

Val Thorens


There are a number of different ways to buy a ski property in France including a mortgage, buying leaseback or off-plan. We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages

1. Get a French mortgage

French lenders look very favourably upon the prospect of providing financing for properties in the French Alps. The outstanding infrastructure of the area and its popularity with tourists mean that the property market there is regarded as a safe bet, with the value of real estate tending to increase over time. The strength of the property market in the Alps means that 85% financing should be readily available, although think carefully whether you want a fixed-rate, fixed-term mortgage (often very attractive rates but there may be penalties if you make overpayments) or a variable mortgage (often less favourable and fluctuating rates but you can pay off chunks of the mortgage earlier if you prefer).

There are several advantages to financing your ski property purchase with a mortgage. First, this could reduce your exposure to wealth tax which is charged on net assets, and second it could reduce your income tax bill if you earn an income renting the property.


Related articles

How to get a French mortgage

What are the differences between French and UK mortgages?


2. Buy a leaseback property

If you are looking to get a regular income from your ski property and are happy to only use it a few weeks a year then buying a property via the leaseback scheme might be a good option. The buyer purchases a freehold furnished property which is then leased back to a management company for a set period. Buyers are entitled to a VAT refund on the purchase price and a guaranteed rental income and get a set number of weeks to use the property themselves each year.

In recent years French mortgage providers have become increasingly cautious about providing mortgages to finance the purchase of leaseback properties in France and will study the individual project carefully before confirming a mortgage. Generally they will finance purchases from leading developers and management companies. Lenders are also cautious about the projected income and won’t include this in their mortgage calculations. They might only offer 70-80% financing instead of the 85% you get with a standard mortgage.


Related articles

What is the French leaseback scheme?

How to decide where to buy a ski property


3. Buy an off-plan new-build property

Buying off-plan is a common option in the Alps. Given the area’s popularity there are a number of new-build developments being constructed and they are often in the popular resorts. Buying off-plan can be cheaper, notaire and agency fees are often less on new-build properties than an old property and there are likely to be less repair and maintenance costs. You might also be able to choose design features for your new property. However, buying off-plan is more of a risk as you can’t see the property before you buy it and so there is the possibility it won’t be finished in the way you expect or when you have been promised.

As a result of this increased risk lenders are more cautious when offering mortgages for off-plan purchases. They will thoroughly check the reliability of the development project and might only offer 70-80% financing instead of the 85% you get with a standard mortgage.

Find out more: 4 reasons to buy a new-build property in France

Simon Smallwood, joint managing director of mortgage broker International Private Finance


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Complete France visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Complete France staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Complete France account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from French Property

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Renovation expert Matthew Chalk tells us about an ambitious project to restore a prominent village house in Brittany

Read more
Monday, October 30, 2017

Follow these tips to make sure you choose a good builder to carry out renovation work on your French property

Read more
Monday, September 4, 2017

Conditions for mortgage borrowers in France remain very favourable thanks to the election of President Macron, so is a mortgage a good option for British buyers?

Read more
Sunday, May 14, 2017

If you’re planning to buy a property in France, make sure you understand how French and UK mortgages differ

Read more
Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Pound to Euro exchange rate has continued to slide, presenting headaches for Euro buyers with Pounds. What seemed unthinkable a few months ago has now become a reality. What will be the main drivers on the rate for the coming weeks and months and just how low could this go?

Read more
Currency exchange update
Monday, July 10, 2017

One year after the EU referendum, currency broker TorFX asked their customers how Brexit and the subsequent currency exchange movements have affected them

Read more
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

If you want to give someone the power to act on your behalf in France, whether to sign your property purchase documents or if you lose mental capacity, you’ll need to apply for the French equivalent of power of attorney

Read more
Monday, January 22, 2018

Should you have a British or French will? Will Brexit make a difference? Do you have to pay inheritance tax? Here are 5 things you might not know about making a will for your French assets

Read more
Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New wealth tax laws came into effect on 1 January 2018 which could save you money on your tax bill. A tax expert explains the changes to the law and what they mean for you

Read more
French tax
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

If you’re planning to run a business in France then you’ll need to make sure you choose the correct tax regime when setting it up – here is a guide to the different regimes

Read more
Running a business
Subscribe today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now