1. Use a currency transfer specialist to exchange Sterling and send euros to France.
Not only to purchase your ski home but also to keep your French bank account topped up to cover running costs. You’ll get a far better exchange rate than you would if you simply asked your bank to make a currency transfer. Consider using a pre-paid currency card during your skiing trip.
2. Buy plane tickets early.
Book flights to Geneva for the coming winter season as soon as EasyJet and other airlines release their winter schedules. If you plan to make a number of visits out to your ski pad but are unsure of your availability, book a selection of dates – if you end up not using one set of flights, you could still save overall by booking early.
3. Take the car.
A great benefit of the Savoie and Haute-Savoie regions of the French Alps is that they are within a comfortable motorway drive from Calais – approximately eight hours. If you’re travelling down with a family or in a large group, this travel option will be cheaper than flights for everyone plus hiring a car. Similarly, drive out with items for kitting out your property and stocking up with provisions, as prices for consumables are typically high in French resorts, as is eating or drinking out.
4. Buy your ski equipment and clothing in the UK and store it in your property.
Not only will the cost of the equipment be less, but you’ll save enormous amounts of money on airline ticket charges for extra hold baggage. If you can store your clothes and other equipment in a secure area and travel with carry-on baggage only, this not only saves money, but also transfer time and hassle at the airport.
5. Look for discounted ski passes.
Like residents, as a second homeowner you could be entitled to a discounted season pass. Otherwise, look out for discounts, and end of season and family discounts. Also, if applicable, decide whether you need a full lift pass or a cheaper one covering just your local area.
6. Consider leaseback.
It’s the hassle free way to own a luxury ski property, which should cover all your running costs. With a leaseback property your property is managed by a holiday company to service ski operators. You receive fixed rental income but your personal usage is limited and will depend on the deal you decide on. However, new leaseback properties are VAT exempt and free from one of France’s two types of council tax for a set period.
Skiingproperty.com has a selection of properties in the French Alps, including apartments from less than €200,000 to €12million chalets.