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Buyers Guide: From ‘Angel’ Tim in the Chatel/Abondance Valley

In my experience with clients looking for property in the Alps the most important thing to think about is what will the property be used for. There are so many variables that you must take into consideration in order to find the right property that suits your needs and wants. Of course there are no set rules however here is a guide to help you focus to make a more informed and comfortable decision.


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Self-catered Renters
If renting your property out to the general public is important then you will need to look at a few fundamentals that will attract clients and hopefully get you some bookings.

  • Proximity to ski lifts and how easy it is to access them
  • Proximity to bars and restaurants ski rental shops etc
  • Balcony/terrace with views
  • Fire place
  • Balanced layout of property – i.e. if you have 3 bedrooms you must have enough space in the kitchen/dining/living area to fit 6 people comfortably
  • I have found these are very important for holiday makers and if the property ticks all these boxes you will be able to charge a premium.


Of course a rustic farm in the Alps with a contemporary interior finish is always a dream for a lot of people and when thinking about renovation you have to have a clear goal in mind as to what you envisage the end product will look like. Admittedly not for the faint hearted but the outcome could be spectacular and end up being an extremely desirable property. Once you have an idea what it will look like when finished, study the market to see what else is on at the time that compares to your property. This will give you an idea of what price it could warrant upon resale then work backwards from there. Obviously the bigger the property the more it will cost to renovate. This of course doesn’t just apply to farmhouses but apartments as well. Smaller more manageable projects will still make a profit. France Property Angels will be happy to put you in touch with local artisans and architects to help.

3Primary residence
For people that want to take the plunge to move to France and experience the alpine lifestyle all year round the important thing is imagining you living at the particular property obvious as it may sound. You need to take into account all aspects of life. How long does it take to do the shopping, getting to ski slopes, are you happy with the views and neighbours. Do you have enough bedrooms? In my experience every single variable in this case needs to be thought about. In order to prioritise make a check list. What is most important to you? Budget, views, privacy, outside space, proximity to amenities. Although it may look good on paper sometimes you have to go with your heart.

Fully catered business
More and more people are buying property in the Alps to set up fully catered ski chalet holidays. This is a great way to own and pay for a property in the Alps if you don’t mind a bit of hard work and opening your home to guests. This is a great way to get to know the area and its locals. If this is for you then the property has to lend itself to this style of ownership. Are there enough bedrooms to make a profit, do they have en-suites. What are the communal areas like? Is there separate self contained accommodation for you or staff to live in?

A 2nd home just for you
I have found that many buyers want their little get away in the Alps. Just for them, a way to escape normal life. Again this opens up a plethora of variables like the primary residence scenario. Are you going to be comfortable spending your holidays at the property? Can you see yourself putting your stamp on the property?

4Long weekenders
If you are that type of person that loves to be in the mountains whatever the reason and grabbing cheeky weekends when convenient, with the studio apartment market you are spoilt for choice. Just to cut down on the cost of accommodation it seems to be more sensible to invest in a little holiday pad you can call your own. An apartment that has recently been on the market was priced at 35,000 euros. Granted it was sold very quickly but other bargains are out there.

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