We have put together a free 21-page guide: How to buy a ski property | The definitive guide to cover all your questions.
Introduction to France | Who can buy? | Trips to view property | Easy steps to buying | Contracts & signing | Purchase costs and payments | Construction & furniture | Running costs | Renting your property | Tax & VAT
Introduction To France, the main ski area in Europe
The French Alps is the main ski area in Europe famous for its pretty mountain villages, several-century-old history, top cuisine and extensive Alpine terrain.
The French Alps are a beautiful and traditional Alpine region, and this is where are some of the most famous ski resorts, whether it is for winter but also for the summer. France was where the first foreign buyers came to when the trend for buying ski properties in the early 90s started.
Many of the most famous ski destinations (Haute Savoie, Savoie and Isère) started on the global scene earlier than those in Austria and Switzerland. As such, French ski resorts boasts the highest number of ski lifts and slopes for example. French villages still offer fabulous value for money and maintain their authentic Alpine charm. Many of the mountain villages feature beautiful chalets, century-old farms, and traditional churches not to mention the delicious regional cuisine.
France is divided into 95 départements and boasts the most famous mountainous landscape in the world the French Alps. A perfect example is world-famous Chamonix and the Mont-Blanc. France borders Switzerland and Italy, and with international airports like Geneva or Lyon, it makes it very easy for foreign owners to reach their ski property from abroad.
Winter and summer ski resorts
Due to the perfect altitude of mountain peaks in the French Alps, you have very cold winters to guarantee top snow but also warm summers for plenty of outdoor activities. And you still have the glaciers of Tignes and Les 2 Alpes to ski in summer.
Some of the largest national parks in the Alps are in France like the Parc de la Vanoise in Savoie, ideal for trekking and discovering the wildlife and scenery. Summer activities in the Alps are very well organised as an important number of French nationals only go to the mountain in summer. The Tour de France has been a highly contributing factor as you can imagine.
Who Can Buy Property In France?
Foreign or French nationals have the same rights when buying property in France.
EU-citizens and non-EU-citizens are allowed to buy and live permanently in any property they wish in France (all properties are freehold). These rules apply when it comes to buying a holiday or an investment home. There are no different rules for French nationals and non-French-nationals. The same rules apply in all the French regions, unlike in Austria or Switzerland where rights and living permits vary greatly if you are or not a national.
Can EU and non-EU companies buy ski property in France?
If you own a company, you can buy a French ski property in the company’s name. However, French banks will not lend you money, and you will need to finance the purchase without a French mortgage.
PS: You can also create a French property company if you do not wish to buy under your name. It is called an SCI, but best is to contact us for more info and we can put you in touch with the legal department free of charge.