We all dream of owning a ski chalet in the alps.
A place to disappear to every winter and still call home.
If you’re like me, there’s no better ski resort to explore every winter than Courchevel.
There’s a good reason it’s famous across the world, because it’s got everything you could want (and more).
The ski pistes are perfectly manicured for long rolling runs from December until April. Plus you can adventure across the whole Three Valleys for unique ski days for years to come.
The villages offer you a flavour of all types of mountain life from refined luxury to tranquil retreats. This diversity means you have an incredible choice of property in the area from cosy apartments to luxury ski-in / ski-out chalets.
If you’re thinking about buying property in Courchevel, then keep reading. We’ve sat down with local real estate expert, Sian Maher from Leggett Immobilier, to give you an in-depth look at how to buy and sell property in Courchevel. Adding to this, we’ll take a look at what the different villages have to offer.
What are the Steps to Buying Property in Courchevel?
Still dreaming but feeling overwhelmed about how to purchase property in the French Alps.
Take a deep breath and relax. We’re here to guide you through the process like a handsome ski instructor catching you before you slip on the ice.
1. Deciding Type of Property
First, you need to think about what sort of property you are looking to buy. This is the first thing to narrow down before you start searching. You probably already have an idea of whether you’re looking for an apartment or ski chalet. Of course, much of your decision of type and size will come down to your budget so you can discuss the options further with your chosen agent.
2. Find a Reputable Agent
Finding yourself a great agent is going to make your search and buying process a lot easier. The top real estate agents in Courchevel, such as Legget Immobilier, will help you through the whole process, guiding you through the whole process from defining your search, explaining the purchase procedure in France, to visiting properties, presenting and negotiating offers and then moving on to the legal paperwork until you have your new keys in your hands.
Top-tip: Working with a high-quality local agent, can give you access to off-market deals that you won’t find anywhere else, so it pays to establish a good rapport.
3. Lining Up Your Finances
It is very important to have your finances lined up as early as possible, it’s a fast-moving market at the moment and you want to be best placed when making an offer. You are a stronger buyer if you can show you have the principal of a mortgage offer in place or funds ready to proceed. This means getting an idea of mortgage possibilities is important. Leggett Immobilier has carefully selected partners who can help with mortgage options. They can also introduce you to other experts to help with tax, currency advice and company structure for purchases.
4. Viewing Property
This is where things get exciting. Once you have defined your search criteria, your agent can start lining up properties to view. If you’re not local, then you can work with your agent to view a number of properties for your visit. Or even have a virtual visit before you travel.
“Using a local agent with an in-depth knowledge of Courchevel and the surrounding area will make this process much easier. We now even provide 3D tours, virtual tours on video calls, and floor plans to get a sense of a property if travel is difficult.” explains Sian Maher from Leggett Immobilier”
Adding to this, working with a bi-lingual agent enables you to communicate effectively with any questions to have while viewing properties.
5. Making an Offer
Hopefully, you’ll find the perfect ski residence for your future ski trips. Of course, then it’s time to make an offer! Once again your agent will be able to help advise on how to go about this, be it in person, over the phone or by email. Your agent will get in touch with the seller and put in the offer and conduct any negotiation necessary. The offer will include the finance method for the purchase and any suspensive clauses that are required such as mortgage or planning queries.
6. Choose a Notary
To buy property in the French Alps you need a ‘Notaire’ to process the transaction. This is a publicly appointed legal advisor acting on behalf of the State. A Notaire is required to draw up a contract between the buyer and the seller, guaranteeing the legality and authenticity of the transaction. Often, one Notary acts on behalf of the buyer and the seller. Although it is possible for both sides to use a different Notaire.
Top-tip: Buyers have the right to choose a different Notaire to the vendors, this does not add to the cost. Expert local agents, such as Leggett Immobilier, have excellent relationships with bilingual Notaires, which can simplify the purchase process.
7. The Compromis de Vente
The Compromis de Vente is the first legal document you will sign when initiating the purchase of property in France. It is the sale agreement that clarifies the terms you agree for the purchase.
The seller’s Notaire might draw up the document for all parties, or Leggett Immobiliere head office can as they have their own team for this who will automatically produce a bilingual document to help understand this important legal document all parties will sign. Both the buyer and seller will sign the document which includes points such as:
- Details of the purchaser and seller, “Title” details of the property
- The price agreed The deposit agreed (usually 10% to be held typically by the Notaire or in some cases the agent)
- Obligations of both parties
- Arrangements for surveys
- Provisional conditions (Clauses Suspensives)
- Estate agent’s fees and legal fees
- Target completion date
Once the Compromis de Vente is signed, the buyer will transfer a deposit of 5 to 10% of the agreed purchase price to the Notaire. This deposit is held in an escrow account until the final completion.
9. Cooling Off Period
After the Compromis de Vente agreement is signed, French law dictates that the buyer has a 10-day cooling-off period. During this time, the buyer is able to withdraw their offer for any reason with a full refund of their deposit. This terminates the purchase procedure.
If the buyer decides to pull out of the sale after the cooling-off period then the seller is legally entitled to keep the deposit.
10. Acte de Vente
So you’ve found your dream ski property in Courchevel, you’ve had your offer accepted, and signed the Compromis de Vente. Now it’s just a matter of time before the big day. Usually, it takes around 3 months before the next step known as the Acte de Vente is ready to be signed and the deal completed. This allows due diligence to be completed and ensures all the paperwork is correct.
The Acte de Vente is the final purchase agreement to be signed by the buyer and seller, overseen by a Notaire. In advance of the signing, the buyer should ensure all funds have been transferred to the Notaire’s escrow account so the purchase runs smoothly upon signing the purchase agreement.
11. Collect the Keys
That’s it! Congratulations, you’ll now be the legal owner of your new ski property in the French Alps. The keys are yours and you can celebrate.
Buying Property in Courchevel?
Leggett Immoblier is the leading international estate agent in France. Their agents have the support of an HO team that includes a dedicated contracts team. They even have an in-house Notaire ensuring sales progress smoothly. They are used to dealing with international buyers and were one of the first agencies in France to use electronic signatures to speed up sales. Many of their listings are sold “off market” so it pays to establish a good rapport with their local agents.
Selling Property in Courchevel?
Leggett Immoblier’s global marketing means that they can reach local, national and international buyers – ensuring the widest possible exposure for your property.
This results in quicker sales at the best possible price. Their on the ground expertise means that vendors get a personal service – local knowledge they can trust.
Property in Courchevel
If you’re just starting your search to buy an apartment or ski chalet in Courchevel then take the time to get to know what the resort has to offer. Below you’ll find information about the type of properties you’re likely to find in each village from super chalets to sunny balconies overlooking the slopes.
Courchevel 1850 Property
Courchevel 1850 is what most people think of when they picture this ski resort. It is the highest village (at 1850 metres altitude) and sits in the heart of the ski area. At the bottom of the village you’ll find a number of apartment residences and lodgings in and around the shops and restaurants. As you ascend past the resort centre stunning ski chalets appear from within the snow covered mountain trees. Many of these residences have ski-in / ski-out access to pistes like the Bellecote green slope or direct ski access on the Jardin Alpin gondola. This allows you to arrive at the main snow front in minutes.
There is nowhere more glamorous to spend a winter in the snow with the perfectly groomed rolling pistes elevated by 5-star service and luxury at each turn.
Courchevel 1650 Property
Courchevel 1650 offers a more laidback style compared to 1850, but it continues to enjoy a large amount of redevelopment of the properties on offer here. The middle of the village is lined with retail shops, restaurants, and large apartment buildings.
The location is loved by many skiers as the plateau receives sun late into the afternoon. Perfect for a glass of wine on a sun-bathed balcony after a day on the slopes. The number of ski chalets popping up here grows every year, often located within 2 minutes of the village centre and the main ski lifts. You’ll also find select chalets on the Belvedere road which boast ski-in / ski-out access and peace amongst the alpine trees.
Courchevel 1550 Property
Courchevel 1550 is a quieter hideaway, offering tranquillity away from the bright lights and sparkle of 1850. That being said, it offers direct access via a gondola to the higher up resort, so you can easily jump onto the slopes or pop-up for an evening of elegance.
Ski chalets line the exterior of the village with stunning views across the valley. You’ll love peacefully gazing at the mountain tops after a fresh snowfall. Through the main street apartment buildings overlook the slopes so you can draw back the curtains to assess the snow conditions. Plus step out the front door and have your skis clipped on in 30 seconds! Further up the Brigues road at the end of the village lies a collection of apartments and ski chalets to all types of budgets.
Le Praz Property
Le Praz is the lowest ski village in the Courchevel area with direct lift access. The resort has undergone massive redevelopment in recent years in preparation for the 2023 World Championships. Owning property here means you’ll be within walking distance of modern ski lifts which whisk you up to 1850 or into the wider ski area. Even with these modern updates, the village still retains its authentic heart and rustic charm. You’ll still feel you’re wandering around a tradigital French mountain hamlet.
At the bottom of the village is a selection of large apartments with accommodation of varying sizes. Often these include balconies looking over the pistes cutting into the mountainside. Around the village, you’ll love the rustic stone and wood buildings lit with twinkling lights through the winter. Walk the streets and look a little closer. You’ll start to notice the stunning ski chalets on offer which perfectly blend a modern alpine charm together.
La Tania Property
La Tania sits between Le Praz and Meribel, but is still located in the Courchevel valley and lift network. This family-orientated resort is home to an incredible mix of centrally located apartments and ski chalets sprawling through the forest. The heart of the village is completely pedestrianised allowing you to ski down, unclip your skis and enjoy piste-side food and beverages. It is a great base for both summer and winter, with the La Tania gondola running for free in the summer and a new outdoor pool for the public to enjoy.
St Bon, Bozel and Surrounding Areas
There is an eclectic mix of property available further down the mountain and into the valley below. These villages include St Bon, just a 5 minute free bus ride from the ski lifts in Le Praz and Bozel, sitting in the valley with a free ski bus up the mountain. As there is no direct ski access you might find more for your money in these surrounding villages. Adding to this, there’s a greater variation from new build chalets, to townhouses, to apartments, to old buildings waiting for complete renovations!
Looking to Buy or Sell Property in Courchevel
Look no further than Leggett Immobilier which had been voted Best Estate Agency In France more times than any other agency!
No other agency market your property to such a mixture of domestic and international buyers. This high level of exposure means that you can be sure that potential buyers will see your property – whether they live in the next village or on another continent. This is important if you want to sell your property quickly, and at the best possible price.
The Courchevel team even has an unrivalled “little black book” of local tradesmen and removal companies to make your whole experience as smooth as it gets. Get in touch with Sian and the Courchevel team now.