My experience of buying a home in the Italian Alps.

My experience of buying a home in the Italian Alps.

My experience of buying a home in the Italian Alps.

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

In August this year, I had the great surprise of my mum telling me she wanted to give me an advanced inheritance. She knew I always wanted to have a home in the mountains, but there was no way that I could afford it with my salary and that of with my husbands’. We were vacationing in Normandie when she told me so. I could not hold my excitement and started looking in all real estate websites.

Going in our ride from GVA to Courmayeur. My experience of buying a home in the Italian Alps.
Going in our ride from GVA to Courmayeur. My experience of buying a home in the Italian Alps.

I’ve started with some of the British ones, but sooner came to check the Italian websites. The Guide to Buying a Home in Italy gave me lots of ideas of how to start and the contact of my property lawyer: Alessandro Clemente, who was great! I’ve talked to him before starting and he told me all the things I needed to take into account when going to scout properties. That was very important as I could have done all things wrong if I was not in the know.

We’ve planned to have a short trip end of August to visit some places. Idealista website was the one I’ve finished using to seeing the different offers and sorting what I want to do and an agenda on how we were going to go around. At first, I was thinking in two areas: Courmayeur and Cervinia. I’ve seen some flats in Cervinia – (Valtourneche really) with views of the Monte Cervino that seemed fabulous. Digging a bit more into what they were offering, this was part of a programme where you need to use your flat only some weeks and the rest the administration of the building takes care of it and rents it out. That kind of discouraged me because I wanted to have the option that if in the future I want to move to Italy, I have a place! Then talking to my mum, she told me that if I like so much Courmayeur and the Valdigne (the Valley of the Mont Blanc), why don’t I focus on that area only. Which really made my job easier in focusing how to use our three days better.

The balcony at the Gran Baita Hotel with a view of the Dente del Gigante - even though a cloud is covering it at the time. My experience of buying a home in the Italian Alps.
The balcony at the Gran Baita Hotel with a view of the Dente del Gigante – even though a cloud is covering it at the time. My experience of buying a home in the Italian Alps.

Got the flights to Geneva and transfers to Courmayeur. Got the hotel (Gran Baita) in Courmayeur and started looking each day at the Idealista website and sorting which flats I would want to visit. I had two weeks to talk to everyone and sort a pretty busy agenda. I’ve started to get excited!

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How to buy a home in the mountains.

Imagine your flat in Val d'Isère. How to buy a home in the mountains.

How to buy a home in the mountains.

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

If you are a fanatic mountain lover and a skier or boarder, you know that you are thinking about the mountains all the time. If you could, you would be there as much as possible, maybe try to work for the season, and if you are very lucky, stay year-round.

This idea might be great if you have no family and you don’t need to ground yourself down because of your kids. I have a friend when living in Argentina that was doing the ski seasons in Las Leñas with his kids, and another friend in common kept on saying that those kids were not going to learn anything – I would say they will learn the ‘school of life’. But it is not an easy option.

Le Genepi in Les Gets. How to buy a home in the mountains.
Le Genepi in Les Gets. How to buy a home in the mountains.

So, if you are lucky enough of being able to have the money, receive an inheritance, put money aside every month for some (or many) years, or get money for a deposit and look into getting a mortgage, maybe investing in a home in the mountains could be an option for you.

I always wanted to live in the mountains. When I was young and I lived in Colorado, I was really happy waking up there every day. That was the case in Crested Butte, even more than in Aspen. And working for the seasons in Las Leñas and Bariloche also had its appeal.

But having your spot where to stay in the mountains, and not necessarily having to be working there, is the best of both worlds.

Dining room render of the Génepy. Les Gets. How to buy a home in the mountains.
Dining room render of the Génepy. Les Gets. How to buy a home in the mountains.

So how you can do this.

I obviously started looking online, at new developments that can be bought from the builder, some of them ski in/out and then looking at different websites, of the likes of Rightmove of Idealista (for Italian properties).

There are a couple of UK realtors that are dedicated to selling properties in the Alps. Such is the case of Alpine Property Intelligence, which has a very good website featuring different apartments and chalets in the Alps- specifically in France, Switzerland and Austria. Not only they offer a range of apartments for-sale, but also for rent.

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