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

Archant

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

More from French Property

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Renovation projects often come with a very attractive price tag, but how do you know the work needed to make it your dream home won’t end up costing you a fortune? Here are 7 things to think about before buying a property to renovate in France

Read more
Renovating in France
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Are you curious about when your French house was built and who else has lived there? Find out how to discover the history of 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
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Currency exchange is an important aspect of buying a home in France and using a market order to time your currency purchase could save you money

Read more
Thursday, March 22, 2018

At a loss over losing money when you need to send cash back home? It’s a common problem for expats who are getting stung by excessive fees and hidden charges from banks. With CurrencyFair, an online marketplace, secure transactions are made faster and far cheaper

Read more
Monday, March 5, 2018

Once a price has been agreed, the buyer and seller of a French property sign a preliminary contract, the compromis de vente. Here is everything you need to know about this legally binding contract

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
Friday, June 8, 2018

If you are retiring to France then make sure you understand all the options for your UK pension and how much tax you might pay

Read more
Thursday, April 19, 2018

It is a common view that you pay very high taxes in France, so you might be surprised to learn that moving to France could actually cut your tax bill rather than increase it

Read more
Monday, June 11, 2018

Follow a British couple as they visit Brittany to try and find a holiday home for less than €90,000

Read more
Brittany
Subscribe today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

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