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Ideal ski place to buy

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
What ski resort would you buy in if you could? This is hypothetical as I have't yet won the lottery. Requirements would be 1) fairly short transfer from the airport 90 mins max. 2) Snow sure, or as snow sure as can be. 3) decent nightlife. 4) I wouldn't buy somewhere that would require a drive to the ski lifts so would need to be in resort. For me St. Anton almost ticks these boxes but I'm pretty sure if you buy there you have to rent it out for some weeks of the year? might be wrong on that. Chamonix ticks them but I'm not a huge fan of the ordeal of getting to the different ski areas. My favourite ski resort is Val D'isere but the transfer is too long especially if you wanted to do a weekend.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@mk28, well I bought in Flachau, ticks all the boxes (45 min transfer) although I do drive to other resorts too. Snow sure - well in the 8 years I have had the apartment I have skied from mid December to April and always had snow, albeit man made sometimes but its still snow. Good luck with finding somewhere to buy though Laughing
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
If you won the lottery the answer isn't which resort but which resorts? Or whether you'd bother and simply stash a nice car full of gear at assorted airports and fly/drive to wherever is best at the time.


If you are talking real world buying while continuing to work in a geographically specific job it comes down to budget and access. CHX is popoular because it is so easily accessed from GVA with many shuttle services.
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I'd prefer to have a base rather than follow the storms as if i did buy somewhere id want to be there jan feb march minimum. I really have given CHX a chance Ive probably been ten times but i just dont love the town or the ski areas. I haven't had the opportunity to ski back country there however as I've always been with beginner/ intermediate skiers. Is it difficult to buy in Austria in general?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Plenty of people buy in Austria. The problem you have is if you are trying to dovetail maximum usage with a M-F 9-5 type job as to be quite frank flights to Austria that maximise weekend ski time for minimal time off work suck donkey balls.

The way to start you research is to identify flight candidates to appropriate cities and work from there in terms of ski resorts rather than falling in love with a particualr location then finding flights are a total ballache.

All that changes if you can work more flexibly/remotely of course - then you are only really out of play for the time you are in the air.
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@mk28, don't know about Austria generally but there isn't much for sale...ever...round our way. I think you need to be "in the know". You also have to watch out for the various rules on renting - some you are not allowed, some you have to - and some are not allowed as second homes. Depends on the individual dwelling/development.
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@mk28, Chamonix for me due easy road access (no mountain roads) and a busy year round vibe.

It’s a 3 minute walk from our place to the Brevent.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
The way to start you research is to identify flight candidates to appropriate cities and work from there in terms of ski resorts rather than falling in love with a particualr location then finding flights are a total ballache.
This was an important consideration for us when we bought in Les Arcs, with four airports all within driving distance, including Geneva which has multiple flights from the UK every day of the week all year round. For an added bonus, a direct rail service from London coupled with a high speed mountain funicular taking just seven minutes from valley to resort.

Les Arcs is a bit more than 90 minutes drive from Geneva or Lyon airports, about 45 minutes longer, airport to front door. For us this was not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, all other factors being considered. Somewhere with a large ski area, ski in/out location, a choice of transport links and a price we could afford were priorities, rather than than being very close to an airport. Just about 15 years after our purchase I think we made the right decisions back then, probably more a matter of luck than judgement truth be told. I've spent longer deciding what pair of jeans to get than it took us to decide to buy in Les Arcs Embarassed
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@rob@rar, never skied Les arcs, would rather like to!
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Look left & you'll see my choice, I wanted it to work summer & winter also for weekends. Anywhere off the autoroute blance would have suited but for me StG just felt right. Saying that I'll screwed if easy jet go bust
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under a new name wrote:
@rob@rar, never skied Les arcs, would rather like to!
I didn't know it that well when we bought there, but the more I skied it the more I appreciated what it had to offer. It has the reputation of being family friendly, but that means fewer people to trash the easy to reach off-piste and is less of a Mecca for hardcore backcountry skiers. Despite this reputation, local knowledge or a local guide will give you places like the back of the Aiguille Rouge, the Aiguille Grive or the north face of the Bellecote, plus the more accessible frontside of the Aiguille Rouge with a few awesome itinerary runs). Although it's not as high as places like Tignes, it does have much more terrain (on and off-piste) through the trees, so when excessive wind or snow is a problem we often have somewhere to bolt to when higher altitude resorts are shut down. It's not a traditional village, so no year round life, and lots of it is less than attractive, but the skiing is pretty good and there is a wide range of options for getting there.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I have to admit that I like our little patch in Austria, having well over 60 resorts on the pass is pretty useful, however it is a proper home, not a holiday base. The only reason I still spend so much time in the UK is for packing the work in to pay for my winters in the snow.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
If I had the money to buy I'd put it in a ski account and just travel to wherever, whenever I could.

Even if you bought you'd still have to pay travel costs.

So, taking the top end £100 per person per night accommodation for a £100,000 property investment would give you

1000 nights

That's a very healthy 50 nights per year for 20 years (at a minimum)

Not stuck to one resort, and can pretty much guarantee great conditions every trip (you just go to where the snow is)
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:
If I had the money to buy I'd put it in a ski account and just travel to wherever, whenever I could.

Even if you bought you'd still have to pay travel costs.

So, taking the top end £100 per person per night accommodation for a £100,000 property investment would give you

1000 nights

That's a very healthy 50 nights per year for 20 years (at a minimum)


I presume you have no kids. Or don't like your kids?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Sorry @Mike Pow, false economy.

At the end of 20 years, you have some good memory for all the skiing. The property owner still have a £100,000 property on top of the ski memories at the end of 20 years, which they may sell to convert to other hobbies.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
TheGeneralist wrote:
Quote:
If I had the money to buy I'd put it in a ski account and just travel to wherever, whenever I could.

Even if you bought you'd still have to pay travel costs.

So, taking the top end £100 per person per night accommodation for a £100,000 property investment would give you

1000 nights

That's a very healthy 50 nights per year for 20 years (at a minimum)


I presume you have no kids. Or don't like your kids?


No kids
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
abc wrote:
Sorry @Mike Pow, false economy.

At the end of 20 years, you have some good memory for all the skiing. The property owner still have a £100,000 property on top of the ski memories at the end of 20 years, which they may sell to convert to other hobbies.


Life is for living. Quality living IMHO.

I'm 52 this November, so if I was able to ski wherever and whenever I wanted until the age of 72 I'd be more than happy.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Mike Pow wrote:

I'm 52 this November, so if I was able to ski wherever and whenever I wanted until the age of 72 I'd be more than happy.

I'm older than you. But all my relatives lived to their 90's, and stayed active till (close to) the end. 20 years doesn't cut it for me.

More over, I don't have a spare £100,000 sitting around besides what it takes to live besides skiing (food, shelter of my main home).

What I do have is the equivalent of £100,000 that I can put towards a property that I can use "for free" (not really), which at the end of the 20 years, I can sell and recoup to use towards living expense of my remaining years.

A more relevant calculation is how much is the "carrying cost" of that property (interest, upkeep, fees and tax etc, minus rental income). And how many nights of skiing THAT will be.

The discussion of this thread IS looking into those, correctly.
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Mr P and I keep tyre kicking places in the villages around St Martin de Belleville (we actually like them more than being in the main village). We have put in a couple of low (i.e realistic) offers below optimistic asking prices on places that need work and have been turned down. The irons are still in the fire though! Loads of flight to GVA from Gatwick for us which makes the 2 hr 10 min transfer acceptable at the other end. Keep on doing the lottery, and in the meantime we're renting again.

Yes, logic dictates that it's a seriously stupid idea to own when you can either rent and also travel anywhere in the world to ski.

But... I can't help it- I love the idea of a real mountain home, which is more than just about skiing, it's about the escape to somewhere tranquil and homely. We live on a busy (i.e noisy) back road 15 mins from Gatwick- which in itself is both a blessing and a curse. The summer is stunning in the mountains. My ideal pad-a small older converted village house, with 2-3 bedrooms, preferably some sort of view and a bit of outside space, so not an appartment. We are happy to drive 5 mins to the lift as long as we can walk to a local bar and restaurants in around 15-20 mins.
I can dream...though I have started a savings account entitled "Chalet Fund" and so has Mr P.
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Like plenty of other snowHead I went for the CHX valley, specifically Argentiere where I’m at the foot of the lift so can easily ski without driving or bussing anywhere. I also looked at Flaine and Avoriaz, but liked the year round, real village nature of Argentiere.

For me an important consideration was not just the travel time, but the variability of the travel time. I’m consistently 1h10-1h20 from Geneva, with the worst ever being just under 2 hrs. If I knew that e.g. Les Menuires could always be done in 2h30 from GVA then it would be an option, but I know that the journey time last season was sometimes 5hrs+ (peaking at 9hrs!) which takes a chunk out of a weekend.

My take on the airport selection is that the airport must be viable in its own right (e.g. GVA, ZRH, MUC all have plenty of business related reasons for people to fly there). I can recall the challenges of some uk owners of French properties when Ryanair rejigged its route network a few years ago, and a £50 flight to an airport 30mins from your home became £300 to Air France and a 3 hr drive.
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Les Diablerets.

The in resort skiing is pretty ordinary but quiet and it's only 3 lifts to Villars/Gryon in one direction and 3 the other way up to the year-round glacier. Less than a 30 minute drive to Gstaad, Leysin and Les Mosses. The village is really nice, south facing with nice views; easy road access and the train from Aigle as a backup. Excellent year round outdoor pursuits location.
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snowdave wrote:
... but I know that the journey time last season was sometimes 5hrs+ (peaking at 9hrs!) which takes a chunk out of a weekend.
Travel delays of that length of a weekday? The only time I've been aware of very lengthy delays is on a Saturday, typically busy Saturdays which coincide with heavy snow. I've done a lot of long weekends over the last 15 years, never travelling on a Saturday, and I can't recall a single occasion when I suffered a lengthy delay when driving to Les Arcs from GVA or LYS midweek.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
abc wrote:
Mike Pow wrote:

I'm 52 this November, so if I was able to ski wherever and whenever I wanted until the age of 72 I'd be more than happy.

I'm older than you. But all my relatives lived to their 90's, and stayed active till (close to) the end. 20 years doesn't cut it for me.

More over, I don't have a spare £100,000 sitting around besides what it takes to live besides skiing (food, shelter of my main home).

What I do have is the equivalent of £100,000 that I can put towards a property that I can use "for free" (not really), which at the end of the 20 years, I can sell and recoup to use towards living expense of my remaining years.

A more relevant calculation is how much is the "carrying cost" of that property (interest, upkeep, fees and tax etc, minus rental income). And how many nights of skiing THAT will be.

The discussion of this thread IS looking into those, correctly.


Here's to your continued health and longevity.

My family are fireworks. Oldest male has been my Dad at 73.

I don't have a spare £100,000 lying around either unfortunately, and was presenting an alternative view.
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We went for Mayrhofen. Really liked the town and wanted somewhere that felt “real” all year round. Flights are ok to Innsbruck most of the year (55 mins car ride) or Munich (supposed to be 2 hours but is always longer). Main skiing in the town is good (not huge like 3 valleys but varied) but 365 day glacier makes early and late skiing possible too. We often drive the 10-20mins to other resorts in the valley. They may link them up eventually but it doesn’t matter if they don’t. We bought a place we have to rent (it saves 20% vat on the purchase) but can take “reasonable personal use” which the lawyers said is 8 weeks. More than enough for a family with small kids.
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Mike Pow wrote:

I don't have a spare £100,000 lying around either unfortunately, and was presenting an alternative view.

I get the alternate view. Trust me, I would execute your suggested plan if I DO have £100,000 spare laying around!
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I haven't bought a place, I'm too poor for that. But I'm renting a place in Austria and I live here full-time. It's a proper town and the lift pass covers 60-70 ski areas, most within an hour's drive, the nearest few are 10 minutes away. The airport is about 45 minutes away and I have many friends in the area, not to mention a job. For me those were the priorities, friends, skiing, job and general mountain loveliness.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Having your own place in the mountains put a completley different slant on a ski holiday .The difference between being somewhere for a week and being there regularly summer and winter is so vast i would be on here for hours trying to explain.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
it is a pity that Gordon Brown's pension investment reform did not take off some years back. there must be many people on hear that would love to have a place in the mountains but cant quite justify the outlay but have £200,000 plus sitting in a pension fund gaining 2% PA that they cant touch until retirement.
Diverting that money into a secure asset that can be both enjoyed in the meantime & liquidated upon retirement seemed perfect sense to me.
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You know it makes sense.
Only if the government could get a cut of the appreciation.

Perhaps that's why it didn't go through.
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We rented for four weeks for three years prior to buying our apartment, and in the same building as we found out that one was coming up, so that's a great way to discover all the pros and cons of somewhere.

And 100K will not go far in terms of property, though will probably suffice for a weekend place etc

But if considering living for a longer then with friends / family staying you'll need more space.

And as@queenie pretty please, mentions, long term renting is a great option.

Mate will be on his third season of renting in Entrèves, other side of Mont Blanc tunnel near Courmayer with the Skyway lift and he's out nearly every weekend!!!

Books all his cheapo tickets up well in advance, drives out with all his gear beginning of the season and then back at the end.
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rob@rar wrote:
snowdave wrote:
... but I know that the journey time last season was sometimes 5hrs+ (peaking at 9hrs!) which takes a chunk out of a weekend.
Travel delays of that length of a weekday? The only time I've been aware of very lengthy delays is on a Saturday, typically busy Saturdays which coincide with heavy snow. I've done a lot of long weekends over the last 15 years, never travelling on a Saturday, and I can't recall a single occasion when I suffered a lengthy delay when driving to Les Arcs from GVA or LYS midweek.


Fair point, I don’t know which days that was (tho sat would still be a non starter, my wife does sat-tues trips due to the days she works).

What’s your longest journey time to/from GVA on a fri or sun in all your weekend travelling?
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snowdave wrote:
What’s your longest journey time to/from GVA on a fri or sun in all your weekend travelling?
Probably a bit over three hours, but not had that length of journey for a long time for a couple of reason. One, I’ve learned to avoid driving the route via Annecy if it’s rush hour (take the Chambery route instead).Two, a few years back a new section of autoroute was opened, with a new tunnel which takes a much more direct route, knocking about 20minutes off the journey time.

It would be nice if the drive was shorter, but the extra hour it takes to get to my place compared to resorts closer Geneva is not a big deal for me, and other factors were more important when deciding where to buy.
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@Jonny996, The French do just that ………….. it's called "Leaseback". Buy a ski apartment with minimal deposit, take out the builders guaranteed mortgage and property management package, got your own ski apartment with off-peak weeks for yourself, hey-hoh 20 years down the line you got a self-funded retirement ski place.
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@skimastaaah, do you honestly believe that? sounds like a remake of 80's timeshare. From my experience its not the mortgage that gets you its the monthly management fees.
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rob@rar wrote:
snowdave wrote:
What’s your longest journey time to/from GVA on a fri or sun in all your weekend travelling?
Probably a bit over three hours, but not had that length of journey for a long time for a couple of reason. One, I’ve learned to avoid driving the route via Annecy if it’s rush hour (take the Chambery route instead).Two, a few years back a new section of autoroute was opened, with a new tunnel which takes a much more direct route, knocking about 20minutes off the journey time.

It would be nice if the drive was shorter, but the extra hour it takes to get to my place compared to resorts closer Geneva is not a big deal for me, and other factors were more important when deciding where to buy.


I'm with Rob on this, Les Arcs or indeed any resort once you buy, you get used to it, so you play the system and avoid the bad times. Or do the train.

Having said that... last winter for some ungodly reason we were flying from Grenoble on a Sat. afternoon (although it wouldn't have mattered which airport in reality: it was getting out past Alberville that was the main issue). Seriously excess snow meant over 10 hours for a 2.5 hour 'normal' journey on a Saturday. Missed flighs, overnight acommodation and a train journey to follow.

But as the Roll family saying goes: "Into every life a little snow must fall - without it there are no powder days".

I understand the arguments for spending the money on trips rather than the an apartment / house.... but we know the hoteliers, the restauranteers, the shopkeepers, the neighbours, and the resort like the back of our hand: the stashes, the good and bad pistes and their times of days, the queues and how to avoid. It's a lifestyle choice and a home from home. Have we 'lost' opportunity money? God yeah.
Do I wish we skied other resorts more often? Yes... ( but as I approach retirement, that becomes more financially / time viable!)
Do I regret buying? Nope. never.
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mk28 wrote:
What ski resort would you buy in if you could?

Strictly speaking I suspect I and a nuimber of others could - if they really wanted. And clearly as can be seen in the thread many already have. For me I'm not persuaded. Whilst I like the idea, it doesn't make much economic or practical sense. And I'm not driven to do it just as a life choice at the moment.

mk28 wrote:
I'm pretty sure if you buy there you have to rent it out for some weeks of the year?

It depends. If you need to make it work financially possible. but annecdotally many on here ditch the idea if economically viable to do so on account of the hassle involved and that in making it rentable you can lose some of the home comfort you were looking.

If I really did come into some money and/or became more frivolous and/or the exchange rate went back to 1.40+ I'd buy an apartment in Les Coches and/or somewhere that could be used year round in Austria perhaps.
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Layne wrote:


mk28 wrote:
I'm pretty sure if you buy there you have to rent it out for some weeks of the year?

It depends. If you need to make it work financially possible. but annecdotally many on here ditch the idea if economically viable to do so on account of the hassle involved and that in making it rentable you can lose some of the home comfort you were looking.
.


This refers to some developments having a clause which says the property must be made available for rentals...not a choice whether to rent or not
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holidayloverxx wrote:
Layne wrote:


mk28 wrote:
I'm pretty sure if you buy there you have to rent it out for some weeks of the year?

It depends. If you need to make it work financially possible. but annecdotally many on here ditch the idea if economically viable to do so on account of the hassle involved and that in making it rentable you can lose some of the home comfort you were looking.
.


This refers to some developments having a clause which says the property must be made available for rentals...not a choice whether to rent or not


Often due to the VAT scheme whereby by designating as a residence de Tourisme you get a taper relief on the cost of buying new.
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Layne wrote:
...or the exchange rate went back to 1.40+
When we paid the deposit on our place I bought a forward contract for the rest of the purchase price at 1.62 Happy
I can now barely remember a time when it felt like the exchange rate was at a reasonable range Sad
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Arctic Roll wrote:


I understand the arguments for spending the money on trips rather than the an apartment / house.... but we know the hoteliers, the restauranteers, the shopkeepers, the neighbours, and the resort like the back of our hand: the stashes, the good and bad pistes and their times of days, the queues and how to avoid. It's a lifestyle choice and a home from home. Have we 'lost' opportunity money? God yeah.
Do I wish we skied other resorts more often? Yes... ( but as I approach retirement, that becomes more financially / time viable!)
Do I regret buying? Nope. never.


I dabbled in looking at places about 10-12 years ago then ended up applying the opposite logic - that while i was working and earning I could afford to play the field a bit and ski lots of different places including long haul before settling down when I retire. Not having kids and wanting/needing the home comforts of course is a factor. I now have quite a number of days in at a number of places such that I think I have some quasi local knowledge. Ironically if I buy an appartment when I retire or in contemplation of retirement (Euro rates/ Brexit omnishambles notwithstanding) it is quite likely to be somewhere I haven't skied much if at all like Eastern Tirol/Salzburgerland because it is great in summer and a vast number of resorts are within 1 hr or so drive.
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