Megeve Alps Ski Property
Ski through breathtaking miles of snowy white slopes bordered by deep green fir trees; enjoy an aperitif in a stylish cocktail bar before dining in a five star restaurant; indulge yourself at the world’s most exclusive health spa or play golf at the oldest mountain style golf course. Situated in the beautiful mountain region of the Haute-Savoie in the French Alps, Megève has been a mecca for the rich and famous for decades. Today, it continues to draw a sophisticated and discerning clientele both as a holiday destination and as a popular and prestigious location to buy property.
The village began to develop as a ski resort in the 1910s when the Rothschild family started to spend their winter holidays there after becoming disenchanted with St. Moritz in Switzerland. By the 1950s, Megève was one of the most popular ski resorts in Europe and today, after Paris and the Côte d'Azur, the Rhône-Alpes is the third most popular tourist resort in France and this is reflected in the prices for Megève property which remain buoyant.
Despite its popularity, Megève has lost none of its Savoyard charm and remains a traditional alpine village. Its narrow cobbled streets are centred around a fine, old medieval church and hand painted horse-drawn sleighs carry tourists around the traffic-free central square and through the winding streets.
Boasting one of the largest ski areas in Europe, Megève offers skiers of all levels the opportunity to ski some of the most beautiful trails in the region; some meandering gently through trees and forests, others cutting through ravines beneath the shadow of majestic Mont Blanc. As the skiing day winds down, Megève transforms into the glittering après ski sophistication of exclusive boutiques, smart cafés, chic cocktail bars and gourmet restaurants.
Megève in the summer
In the summer, the surrounding forests, rivers, lakes and gorges provide a beautiful backdrop for hiking, cycling, climbing and white water rafting. Keen golfers can play on the 18-hole golf course situated at an average altitude of 1,320m and currently the oldest mountain style golf course, designed by Henry Cotton in 1964. For those with a head for heights, Megève is also a great place to take a hot-air balloon ride or to be flown over the Mont Blanc range in a light aircraft.
Due to its popularity both in winter and summer, Megève property is an attractive investment and the good news for buyers is that prices are considerably lower in the French Alps than in Paris, although still above the national average. A crucial factor for potential property buyers is that there is a strong rental market in Megève and this remains high all year around with properties close to the village centre or with easy access to the ski slopes commanding a premium rental price.
Megève property comes in all shapes and sizes to suit all pockets and tastes; from modern and chic apartments and chalets in the centre of the village to exclusive chalets built in the more traditional Savoyard style – often complete with swimming pool, sauna and stunning views of the slopes.
Demand for Megève property remains extremely healthy, particularly for luxury chalets near the centre of the village where new building is restricted to a low volume of apartments. Alternative destinations for property buyers wanting individual chalets are either in the exclusive Mont d'Arbois area, which is at the foot of the slopes at 1,350 metres, or in the pretty villages around Megève such as Combloux or Praz-sur-Arly, which are just minutes away.
It is easy to see why this area of the French Alps is so popular and why Megève – considered to be the jewel in the crown - makes a perfect holiday and investment destination. With Geneva airport less than one hour’s drive away, Megève is perfectly located both for a holiday home or permanent residence.
Guide to the French Buying Process
1. Signing the Agreement (Compris)
On finding a property you wish to purchase you will need to negotiate the terms, price and conditions of the sale with the owner. The next step, once you are in agreement, is to sign the preliminary contract (Compromis de Vente). This is a legal document and after ten days will be binding on both parties. Rules change frequently in France and it is best to consult with your notary about when this period starts. Generally the compris will be signed in France with the Agent. Variants can be included in the compris, for example an Acte (clause) can be added if the name or names to go on the title deed have not been finalised. If a mortgage will be required to purchase the property, the details for this, including the name of the mortgage company, must be on the compris.
2. Paying the Deposit
Generally the deposit will be 10% of the agreed purchase price. This will normally be paid to the notaire. There are exceptions to this, if the agent holds a carte professionelle, is bonded and fully registered then you may pay them, but do not hand over the deposit to anyone else. If for some reason the purchase does not go through, for example, if you write to the notaire and the agent that you do not wish to go continue with the purchase before the contract is binding (within seven days of signing the compris), then your deposit would be repaid. This would also apply if a condition had not been met, or the mayor or S.A.F.E.R. (a government agency that has the right of first purchase on most rural property that comes onto the market in France) could oblige the purchaser to give way. If you decide after the seven days 'cooling off' period that you do not wish to complete the purchase and pull out of the sale you would lose your deposit. If however the vendor pulls out of the sale then you will receive your deposit back plus the same amount from the vendor.
3. On Completion
Generally it will take around two or three months to complete the purchase. During this time the balance of the purchase money must be paid into the account of the notaire, this must be done well ahead of the completion date. The notaire will prepare the documents, check that the deed of sale (Acte de Vente) is in order and have the legal title ready to be signed over. It is possible to have someone sign on your behalf if you give them power of attorney. An interpreter may be of use at this point if your French is not very good and many Notaires will suggest (or insist) that an interpreter is with you.
IMPORTANT - Disclaimer :
All information provided is believed to be current and provided free of charge. No liability can be accepted for the reliability of the information and statements made as this is obtained from 3rd parties. We always recommend you take legal advice from a fully qualified Lawyer or Notary before buying a property overseas.
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