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Always Wanted to Buy Your Own Ski Chalet? Here are some Commonly Asked Questions

A sunny day in Chamonix with views of Mont Blanc in the French Alps

Can You Pay For Your Ski Property Purchase in Pounds?

Switzerland will accept nothing but Francs, and whilst it is legally possible in France, it is not the normal thing to do. And even if it was, it’s much easier for everyone if you buy your ski home in the local currency.

Are You Allowed to Buy Land and Build Your Own Ski Chalet?

Strict property development restrictions in Switzerland mean that buying a re-sale or off-the-plan ski chalet or apartment is the only way to go. And if Switzerland is the place you want to call home, you might want to get in quick! Thanks to Lex Weber regulations, in Swiss communes with more than 20% holiday homes second-home new builds are not allowed, which unfortunately includes popular ski resorts such as Verbier and Zermatt. Add to this the Lex Koller rules which limits the number of foreigners allowed to purchase homes in each Canton and Switzerland can be a tough place to buy. The more popular resorts such as Verbier have already reached the 20% limit, and only new ski properties which are already being built will be available to purchase.

The process is a lot more straight-forward in France, but as in any ski resort, plots of land are hard to come by.

Can Your Ski Home be Run as a Guest House

Yes – but the process for obtaining the correct permit is a lengthy one. The rules and regulations associated with running a guest house in the Alps are strict, and if you buy a building that was intended for private ownership to run a business, the conversion process is a complicated one. Much better to purchase a commercial building straight off the bat.

Is the Skiing Free?

Unfortunately not, but nearly every ski resort offers a "local’s" price with a significant discount for ski home owners and those who live in the ski resort year-round.

Can We Rent Out Our Ski Chalet When We Aren't There?

Absolutely – in fact most people (94% according to Knight Frank) with holiday homes in the Alps intend to rent out their homes to cover costs for their own ski trips. Local management companies and websites like Airbnb have made the process easy for all involved, and extremely profitable for the owners.

dogs love skiing in the alps too

Are Dogs Allowed?

Yep! What dog wouldn’t love a life in the mountains? Even if you buy a ski apartment, it would be a very rare thing that the co-op wouldn’t let you bring your best friend along. Beware though – your pup must have a valid pet passport to travel between countries! This means regular vet visits to make sure that all the vaccinations are up to date – otherwise you’ll have to leave your poor pooch at the border. 

Will Brexit Affect You Owning a Ski Home in Europe?

Until the Brexit negotiations take place, everything at this point is speculation. At the very least, we can be confident that in a worst-case scenario we would be allowed the same rights as most non-EU nationals, which is 6 months a year in the EU. 

WHILE YOU ARE HERE...

Looking for a ski property? Start your search here!

Need help with a mortgage to buy a property in the French, Swiss, Austrian or Italian Alps? See our mortgage tips and advice from experts.

Want to know which ski resort is best for your ski property purchase? Check out our ski resort guides.

Need to swap some Pounds for Euros? All you need to know about currency exchange.

Want to know about buying a ski property in the Alps? Get the lowdown with our buying guides.