Finding the right property
When buying a property in the 2 valleys area, the main factor to take into consideration, is whether the property is going to be your primary residence or a holiday home. This will drastically change the profile of the properties that you should be considering buying. You may also be thinking of buying a property to run as a business, or of buying an existing business...
If you are thinking of buying a property as a holiday home you must ask yourself the following question: realistically how much time will you be spending at the property during a year? If that period is short, then you may want to consider buying a property that can be rented out easily during the periods that the property is empty. Also, you may want to consider buying an apartment rather than a chalet, which is easier to 'lock up and leave'. Another point to consider is whether you are buying just for yourself or whether you will be having lots of family and friends using the property who may have different needs to yourself.
If you are considering moving to the area, there are obviously many more factors to consider. Location is always the most important factor and you will need to think about whether it is more important to be in a village with a school, shops and services if you have a family, or whether peace and quiet and isolation is what you are seeking. Access is also an important factor to consider in the Alps. You should always check that the property you have seen in July is not 2m under the snow during the winter months or without sun for 6 months of the year.
If you are thinking of setting yourself up in business, you need to consider your future clients. If you are looking at buying or setting up a chalet company for example, is the property close to the slopes and does it have enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
Another important issue when you are buying a property is whether you buy something new or from plan, or whether you are looking for a renovation project. Never under estimate the time and cost of taking on the renovation of a property, particularly in the mountains which poses its own particular problems or limitations. Renovating an older property yourself can be enormously rewarding but if are looking for a little more help in this area, please ask us for our contact list of local tradesmen and project managers.
If you are looking for a new property or land on which to build we work in partnership with many local builders who can ensure that you get the perfect chalet for your specific requirements. If you are buying a property from plans, you will be required to pay a 5% deposit on signing a sales contract, 30% when the foundations are ready and the rest on completion of the property. An added benefit of buying a new property is that you will pay less notaries fees.
Finally a quick overview comparison between buying an apartment, a chalet or land:
Advantages: space, possibility of having a garden or some land, parking or garage space, not having to share maintenance charges with other owners, flexibility to maybe rent out a part of it.
Disadvantages: can be costly and complicated to clean, maintain and heat particularly older farmhouses if you are not living permanently in the property.
Advantages: apartments are more likely to be found near or on the slopes, are easy to clean and maintain, (the 'lock up and leave' aspect), are cheaper to heat and easier to rent out.
Disadvantages: lack of space, parking and garden.
Advantages: designing the perfect property for you in the perfect location, not having to compromise.
Disadvantages: land in the area is difficult to come by and is expensive, building a chalet can also be expensive and you will have to wait at least a year before you move in.