Samoens Alps Ski Property
Deep in the heart of the Alps, amid the snow capped peaks and alpine meadows of the Gers Valley lies one of France’s true hidden gems. A Samoens ski chalet for sale is a rare treat located in a truly picturesque setting and near a town nationally distinguished as a ‘ville fleurie’, one of France’s most beautiful towns. Famed for its skiing facilities and rich historical context, a Samoens ski chalet for sale truly is an opportunity not to be missed!
Samoens ski chalet for sale can be found among relatively few private chalets in the area, making it an excellent investment as well as the perfect retreat from which to enjoy the Haute-Savoie department as a whole, and the world-famous Grand Massif, which consists of the five major ski resorts in the area. Unlike many of the other resorts, Samoens retains much of the character of a traditional alpine village. Herds of cattle still graze the high pastureland, their milk used to make the local reblochon cheese, and the traditional ‘potets’ (bells) around their necks still chime in an age-old song from the mountains.
Buying Samoens ski chalet property for sale offers much more than just skiing. Whether in summer or winter the scenery in the area is truly spectacular. The Cirque du Fer a Cheval is one of only 25 listed sites in France, consisting of sheer rock faces and 3,000m summits, snow capped in winter and with awe-inspiring waterfalls in summer. These magnificent waterfalls ultimately empty into the majestic Giffe River that meanders through the valley floor, before flowing through the Tines Gorge and into the vast, tranquil lakes beyond. The Giffe river, starting as an icy mountain stream and transforming into a raging torrent as it passes through the spectacular gorge, offers an ideal location for a huge variety of watersports from kayaking to white water rafting, and, of course, ultimately, fantastic fishing in the nearby lakes. The Gers Lake, high in the mountains around the village is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the area, whether blanketed in pristine white snow in winter or amid the lush greenery of summer, and the high-altitude restaurant captures the best of this scenery year round. Of course, all of these breathtaking views and spectacular landscapes also mean that Samoens ski chalet for sale can also be a haven for walkers or those who enjoy outdoor pursuits.
The seven mountains that surround the town provide a spectacular backdrop to the Samoens ski chalet for sale. Nestled in these mountains are a number of waterfalls, the best known of which is the ’Queen of the Alps’, the Rouget Waterfall. The two sections of this thundering cascade crash down a sheer 80m rock face, and is easilly reached from the Samoens ski chalet for sale. Among the many varied and interesting places to visit around the Samoens ski chalet for sale are the Jaysinia botanical gardens. This huge area of mountainous outcrop overlooking the village contains not only a huge variety of plant species, but also vast water features, the ruins of the 12th century Tornalta castle and an 17th century chapel. This is not the only chapel in the area, with a total of nine ranging from the 15th to the 19th century in date, and all are well worth a visit. The rich and diverse history of the town can also be found documented in the fascinating Le Clos Parchet Farm Folk Museum whose tours are followed by a tasting of the home made products of the farm. Also worth a visit is the iconic ‘Large Lime Tree’ which stands at the centre of the village and has come to symbolise the very heart of the local people. Planted in 1438 this ancient tree has been imortalised by authors, poets and musicians through the ages.
Of course, a Samoens ski chalet for sale is a fantastic base for winter sports and Samoens has some of the best facilities in France. The new ski lift runs from the edge of town, linking it directly to Samoens 1600, also known as the Plateau de Saix. Ski runs in the area range from the gentle, suitable for beginners, which flow lazily down the mountainside, allowing skiers to really enjoy the spectacular scenery through the icy forests, to the white-knuckle runs that are all about speed and adrenaline. Perhaps the most famous run is in the Vallee Blanche. Reached by a high altitude cable car, the run guides skiers through the Geant Glacier within sight of Mont Blanc. Also popular in Samoens are off-piste and cross-country skiing, which offer an opportunity to enjoy more of the natural peace of the blanketed peaks and valleys. For true adrenaline-junkies, Samoens offers one of the most exciting forms of skiing, speed riding, a breathtaking combination of skiing and base-jumping. Of course, there are many facilities for ski hire, tuition for all levels, and guides available for off-piste skiing.
In winter the numerous cascading waterfalls transform into sparkling icy sculptures, and guides are available to instruct on the basics of ice-climbing amid truly ethereal surroundings. Also available near Samoens ski chalet for sale are snow-shoeing and dog sledding. In addition there are also facilities for archery, paragliding and childrens clubs. Central to most Samoens ski chalet for sale is also the beautiful, floodlit ice-rink.
In summer, the array of activities offered amid the spectacular alpine landscape is phenomenal. Hiking is, of course, one of the most popular passtimes, but there are also hire facilities for quad bikes, mountain bikes and even walking with pack donkeys! After the snows have melted the peaks and rock faces offer an endless supply of climbing opportunities and there is tuition and hire facilities for all kinds of climbing, including pot holing. As well as the leisure centre and swimming pool, the lakes and rivers in the area offer a large array of aquatic sports from water skiing to fishing. Also offered near any Samoens ski chalet for sale are facilities for archery, paragliding, helicopter flights, tennis and, of course, a wide variety of activities specifically designed for children. After all that activity, Samoens also offers a wide choice of ways to realx, and even has a specialist reflexology centre. The many restaurants and pubs in the area often specialise in local produce and the cinema is easily accessible from any Samoens ski chalet for sale. Also centrally located in the bustling town centre, Samoens holds one of the largest markets in the Haute-Savoie, selling all kinds of produce from food to regional specialities.
Though today the area is best known for its phenomenal skiing, the area has a long and vibrant history. To supplement their income, the people of the area have long quarried the natural limestone, and ancient quarries still dot the whole of the Upper Giffe Valley. The stonecutters or ‘frahans’ as they were locally known, became so highly valued for their expertise that their brotherhood became known throughout the country and beyond, and was chosen for leading construction projects personally by Napoleon, and as far afield as Louisiana. The brotherhood closely guarded their secrets, to the extent that they formulated their own dialect, known as mourmé. Of course, with such expertise, many of the buildings in the village possess exquisite architecture, adding to the reputation of the town being one of the most beautiful in France, and also one of the most culturally and historically important.
Whether as a rental investment, a base from which to enjoy some of the best skiing in the Alps, or a centre for outdoor pursuits, a Samoens ski chalet for sale is the perfect way to enjoy top-class facilities amid truly spectacular scenery year round.
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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