17 January 2018 - French Mortgage News | International Mortgage News | Partners News |

Guarantee yourself a white Christmas, and a white Easter with your own Alpine property!

If you have been in the UK over the past couple of weeks, you have probably experienced some rather inclement, wet and windy weather. But that is nothing compared to what has been happening in the French Alps over the past few months! Record-breaking early season snowfalls meant that many resorts, such as Val Thorens and Val D’Isere opened in early November – a couple of weeks earlier than planned. And the snow kept on coming, meaning that skiers and snowboarders had fantastic conditions and a truly white Christmas. More importantly it means that, with such a good base of snow, all the popular resorts, including Avoriaz, Meribel, Courchevel and Tignes, should stay open until Easter. So anyone lucky enough to have their own Alpine apartment or chalet can enjoy almost 6 full months of skiing this year!

However, it seems there is such a thing as too much snow; as Storm Eleanor and its ‘snow bombs’ meant that some unfortunate holiday makers got stuck in their resorts (or in the airports) as access to them became too difficult. Yet another benefit of having your own French property – you can pick and choose when you go and don’t have to restrict yourself to one make-or-break ski holiday a year! (And frankly the Alps in the summer are just as beautiful and full of outdoor activities you’ll probably end up there all year round!).

If you are considering (and who amongst us isn’t!) purchasing a French property (whether in the Alps or elsewhere) it’s worth exploring whether you would benefit from buying with a French mortgage.  Currently the French mortgage rates are, like the snow, record-breaking; at historic lows of between 1.5 – 2.5% for non-residents[1]! They are also far less changeable than the recent weather – the French banks offer some spectacular products, including fixed repayment mortgages where the rate is fixed (currently around 2%) for the lifetime of the loan. They also have interest-only and variable options and even those can be capped to ensure no nasty surprises in the future.

Another benefit of buying with a French mortgage is that you hedge your exposure to any exchange rate fluctuations as often French mortgages have no early repayment charges. This means you can wait until the sterling strengthens and pay back your mortgage then. (We wrote about this in more detail here). By purchasing with a French mortgage, you also can keep your sterling savings liquid, rather than tying them up in a French property. Unlike the UK, it is incredibly difficult and expensive to re-mortgage, so releasing any equity you may have in your Alpine chalet is often only possible by selling it. With all this skiing you will be doing, you’d be better off keeping your cash to buy all the latest ski gear!

However, gaining access to the French mortgage products and navigating the purchase process is not straightforward. Bear in mind that your average UK bank cannot provide a mortgage against a French property. Luckily, we are the French mortgage experts, and with our longstanding relationships with all the lenders in France, we can also get you discounted fees and French mortgage rates as well as guide you through the whole process. We are proud of having the highest success rate in the market and we’ll even liaise with the estate agents, notaires, and surveyors on your behalf. Just give us a call or complete our online form and we’ll take it from there. And if you act quickly, we could get you in in time to catch the last snow of the season!

[1] Rates are dependent on your financial and personal circumstance, please contact us for a personalised quote.
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