French Alps: Summer Alpine Paradise | Athena Advisers

Alpine summer paradise

"We love skiing, but for us, it was the mountain sports offering which sold us on Alpe d’Huez."

Whilst many people would first think of Alpe d’Huez as a ski resort, Jane Anderson and her family's initial experience of the resort was during the summer. She and her family are avid skiers, heading to Courchevel and Zermatt once a year, but it was her son’s determination to complete the Alpe d’Huez triathlon which put the resort on Jane's radar.

“Four years ago, my son and I headed to Alpe d’Huez for the first time as he was participating in the triathlon. Finding myself with a lot of time on my hands as my son competed, I spent hours exploring the resort on foot and simply fell in love with it,” says Jane. 

“The next year, my husband came with us as my son competed again and he too fell in love with the resort thanks to its mountain biking and hiking opportunities.”

Her husband received a smaller triathlon as a present, so the family headed back to the resort for the third time. It was during this visit that they seriously thought about acquiring a property here

Riding a wave of regeneration

“On the third visit, we saw that many of the older buildings were being renovated, not too different from what is going on in Val d'Isère at the moment. We also learned about the plans to develop a ski lift between Alpe d’Huez and Les Deux Alpes which would make Alpe d’Huez part of the third largest ski domain in the French Alps.”

They then learned of the Christina project which is located in their favourite part of the resort and headed there to see the existing building.

“We really wanted a four-bedroom penthouse, but unfortunately they’d all been sold. However, Athena Advisers managed to find a three-bedroom penthouse in the project with a mezzanine floor which could be transformed into an extra bedroom,” Jane explains.

“This project was well-priced and we believe that it will increase in value thanks to the resort’s high altitude and forthcoming infrastructure improvements.”

Mountain sports first, rental generation second

“For us, it was the mountain sports offering which sold us on Alpe d’Huez. We love skiing, hiking and mountain biking which makes it the perfect destination for us. I wish we had known about the resort earlier as it is fantastic for children with golf, tennis, swimming and horse riding,” says Jane.

“Plus, it offers significantly more competitive prices than Courchevel where prices range from €20,000 to €30,000 per sqm. This project was well-priced at €13,000 per sqm and we believe that the property will increase in value thanks to the resort’s high altitude and forthcoming infrastructure improvements.”

“We have decided that we are going to rent out the property when not in use to take advantage of the French VAT rebate programme. This influenced the interior design of the property as we want to find the perfect balance between a profitable rental property and a ski home with high-end finishes for us to enjoy when we visit. Though rental income isn’t the main reason we decided to invest, I would be happy if the property paid for itself.”

Working alongside a British interior design team, Laffman and Jones, the Anderson family have already upgraded the kitchen and are planning on upgrading the bathrooms next.

Kilos of paperwork made simple

The French property market is known for its stringent buying procedures and buying a property here comes with a lot of paperwork.

“I have never seen so many documents! There were kilos of paperwork due to the coronavirus pandemic,” comments Jane.

“We couldn’t have managed the process without help from Athena Advisers and their Notaire connection. We got brilliant insurance too and opted for a French mortgage to further cut costs.”

Jane's four-bedroom penthouse is set for delivery Q4 2021 and they can’t wait to get out there and enjoy their new property. Though 2020 was challenging, Carolyn is optimistic about the future and feels that there will be a strong demand for travel in 2021 and beyond.