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The Alpine Property Magazine +33 (0)4 26 10 10 72 | +44 (0)208 123 2384



The Alpine Property Magazine +33 (0)4 26 10 10 72 | +44 (0)208 123 2384



Alpine Property story By Steve Norris,

Founder of Alpine Property It all began in Morzine 20 years ago

These representatives, our agents, live

such as Google, property portals such

as a result of a conversation between

and work in their town and are able to

as and Rightmove and

Claudia Buttet, a French Estate Agent

advise and inform on local conditions.

promotion of our properties through

with many years of local experience,

Whilst Alpine resorts have similarities,

social media such as Facebook.

and myself, an Internet Marketer with

they are each very different. Our

experience attracting international

agents’ local knowledge allows buyers

Apart from our two-part recipe for

clients to the Alps. Claudia continues

to choose the resort which suits them

success, what is it that makes Alpine

to sell chalets as part of the Alpine


Property special? I believe it’s our

Property team and I continue to

culture of honesty and openness. In the

work within the company, supporting

Our local attachment extends beyond a

world of estate agency, there is a sad

our agents while they offer excellent

knowledge and love of the mountains.

tradition of keeping the client in the dark

service to our clients. To keep our

We are also proud to be part of

about inconvenient truths; the likely

internet-based marketing ahead of

French life and are pleased to give

development on a neighbouring field,

the competition, we now have a small

back to our local communities. We are

the lack of prior planning permission for

team led by Marketing Director Gareth

happy to pay our taxes, meet all our

a garage converted into living space.


legal obligations and invest in other

We believe that honesty and openness

local businesses through our local

serves all our clients best. It also allows


us all to sleep at night!

proved to be a success from the start.

As I mentioned before, internet-based

And finally, what makes me proud to

It has remained unchanged throughout

marketing is a tricky world of constant

have been a part of the Alpine Property

our expansion over the last two

change. Gone are the early days

story? I just love the fact that it has

decades. We now cover all the Alpine

when a good website with the right

allowed so many people to set up

resorts of the Haute Savoie.

keywords would come top of Yahoo!’s

home in these wonderful mountains.

rankings, providing our sellers with a

Not least all of us who work in the

We have maintained our commitment

steady source of international buyers.

business, myself included.

to local experience by having a

To maintain that flow, we now use

representative resident in each resort.

paid advertising on search engines

Our recipe of combining local presence with internet-based marketing skill

Now, where are those skis?

© Alpine Property 2018 - The Alpine Property Magazine remains the property of Alpine Property. All material in this magazine is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved by Apine Property. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. Dates, information and prices are believed to be correct at the time of going to print but are subject to change and no responsibility is accepted for omissions or errors. Any correspondence and advertising enquiries should be directed to: or visit Design and reprographics by Origami Media Ltd. Printed by Swallowtail Print Ltd.


The Alpine Property Magazine +33 (0)4 26 10 10 72 | +44 (0)208 123 2384

Resort News

from across the Haute Savoie

Les Alpes du Léman

World Qualifier. For those who prefer a

related activities with plenty to eat

With a number of small ski areas for

more down to earth sport, why not try

and drink. In March ‘Razorsnowbike’

Alpine and Nordic skiing, it offers all

the cross-country track by night? Just

is a crazy mountain bike race down

the usual winter activities. Whilst all

bring your headtorch! The Maison des

the pistes. Les Portes du Soleil and

the big resorts are packed during

Artistes is also hosting daily après-ski

Chatel plays host to Rock the Pistes,

February, Les Alpes du Léman offers

concerts this winter and April sees

an annual music festival commencing

good value skiing and the ability

the debut of the Musilac Mont Blanc

18th March. Chatel is also is

to park at the foot of the slopes.


celebrating 70 years of tourism in

Bellevaux or Les Habères are our


2018 and a number of extra events are

favourites. In addition to that, you can

Les Carroz

sleep in an Igloo, hire a Fatbike or

The new look centre of Les Carroz

(once the snow has melted) try your

is progressing well and due for

St Jean d’Aulps & Valley

hand at gliding. There’s even a new

completion by the end of 2018 with

The plan to link St Jean d’Aulps with

pumptrack for this summer too!

a pedestrianised central square for

Mont Chéry is moving forward. The

hosting the market and concerts as

respective councils have voted in

well as outdoor seating for restaurants

favour and the proposal has been sent

It’s been a fantastic start to the winter

and bars. The redesign will give a real

forward to the SCOT (inter-communal

so far in Chamonix, with tons of snow

heart to the village. Further exciting

planning department). The former

on the mountain and plenty going

plans include new slopes for skiing and

MGEN hospital in St Jean d’Aulps

on in the resort centre. We've had

mountain biking, new lifts and better

(which has become something of

several prestigious downhill ski races

parking facilities as well as a 9-hole

an eyesore in the village) is to be

this season, with the Europa Cup

golf course to add to the already

demolished and replaced with new

showcasing some of the world's finest

extensive leisure facilities!

apartments. The resort of Drouzin


slalom athletes. Next up; France's

planned throughout the season.

le Mont, which bridges the St Jean

best freeride skiers and snowboarders


battle it out for a place in the big

Once again there is plenty going on

being redeveloped as a ‘soft mountain’

leagues as Chamonix hosts two events

in Chatel this winter. The International

resort, with a variety of alternative

from the French Freeride Series - the

Festival of Gastronomie is held late

winter activities on offer such as ski

Freeride Junior Tour and the Freeride

January and features a number of food

touring, snowshoeing and ski-joëring.

d’Aulps and Abondance valleys, is

Lac Léman Evian Bernex

Châtel Bellevaux Les Habères

St Jean d’Aulps

Geneva Morzine Les Gets



Les Carroz



La Clusaz Thônes

St Gervais Megève


Les Contamines

15 km 10 mi

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Les Gets

the rooftops of Morzine, the lift will

Sadly those days are long gone. It

The plan to put a télécabine across

connect to the Prodains Express base

has now been replaced with a brand

the rooftops of the village to link the

at the foot of the Avoriaz cliffs. With

new 6-seater, more than doubling the

skiing at Chavannes and Mont Chéry

construction scheduled to begin in

capacity and halving the time spent on

continues to move forward. You’ll

2019 and completion anticipated in

the lift. Included in this development

also find a sparkly new Ranfoilly

2021, a massive €35 million budget

are new cash desks, a clubhouse for

chairlift to transport skiers and

has been allocated to the project, with

the Club des Sports and a lift to the

snowboarders at super-quick speeds.

a further €11.6 million to be spent on

snow for disabled skiers. The total cost

Les Gets continues to be the dynamic

surrounding infrastructure, including a

is expected to be €9.5 million.

powerhouse of the area with lots

tunnel beneath the village and a new

of new apartment projects due for

bus station. Morzine will truly become

St Gervais

completion this year.

the hub of the Portes du Soleil,

The big news for locals is the purchase

safeguarding its future as a world-class

of the thermal baths by L’Oréal, which

mountain resort.

goes hand in hand with their recent

Samoëns The 4 trident star Club Med resort at


purchase of the small cosmetics

Samoëns 1600 officially opened in


December 2017 with the option of a

There’s now a new dedicated

Gervais could be headed in the same

day or evening pass for non-guests

sledging piste in the Princesse sector.

direction as Evian! Maybe one day it’ll

to access facilities. On the skiing

Measuring 300m long and available for

be a household name? On a more

front, there’s a brand new high-speed

everyone age five and over, the new

conventional note, the lift company

6-seater chair lift in the Combe de

piste adds a very welcome element

has replaced the old L’Epaule lift with

Coulouvrier between Samoëns and

of family fun to the resort. Combloux

a brand new one. It cost €5.5 million,

Morillon, carrying skiers a staggering

has introduced Fat Biking with 5km

but twice as fast and has twice the

2850m in just nine minutes! The

of routes so far. Expect to see Fat

capacity of the old lift.

domaine between Samoëns and

Bikes more often now, it’s great fun,

Morillon has increased by 42 hectares

whatever the snow conditions!

of piste, including two new blue and

brand Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc. St

Les Contamines There' now an extremely innovative set

two new red runs. Samoëns’ Tête de

La Clusaz

Saix has also undergone major surgery

The French leg of the Biathlon World

including 'mushing' (driving a dog

to allow for the increase in volume

Cup arrived just before Christmas,

sled) and building an igloo all feature

of skiers and a 360 panorama of our

transforming the town for the 16,000

on the activity schedule this winter.

stunning mountainscape.

spectators. To top it all off, France won

Electric quad biking, ski-joëring and

gold in both the mens and womens

finally two evening activities involving

competition. Make a date for the next

a piste basher experience! It’s €30 for

The Express Morzine-Avoriaz is an

event in December 2019! The big lift

30 minutes and you’ll sit in the cabin

ambitious new project launched in

news of the season is the replacement

whilst they prepare the Nordic pistes

2017 to build a new lift connection,

of the 43 year old Crêt du Merle chair

and then play five holes of night time

providing a direct link from Morzine’s

lift. When originally constructed, it was

golf with a professional.

Pleney to Avoriaz. Running over

one of the most modern lifts in France.


of activities available. A survival course,


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Remaining European in a Post-Brexit World

By Gareth Jefferies, Marketing Director at Alpine Property


How can you plan for something when

most, providing proof of their heritage

is par for the course. It does show a fair

no one knows how it will turn out? Hope

(and therefore their status as European)

amount of 'slack' in the system. Don't be

for the best? ‘Lie still when stuck in quick

will not be an issue. It's not as simple

disheartened though. View this process

sand’ is often good advice and this

as providing a copy of your passport,

as a long haul and persevere.

often seems to be the policy of the UK

but if your parents are both British and

government, which is a bit unnerving.

were married in the UK, it's not difficult.

The final interview is the stressful bit

My response has been to make plans to

Unfortunately I was born in the Bahamas,

and I had done quite a lot of research

secure my future in France and I’m not

which meant they ran me through

to prepare. I quizzed others, Googled,

alone. I don't like the fact that my rights

the mill. After that, proving you have

I even found a news item on the

seem to be up for negotiation. So, along

somewhere to live, proving you have

process that featured some of the

with a number of colleagues, I’ve started

been paying tax for the last 3-5 years

interview questions. I knew that they

the process to become French.

and proving how long you have been in

wanted to quiz me on France itself

France follows.

(some geography), French culture (TV,

For a citizen of Europe, it’s actually fairly

music) French values (Liberté, Egalité,

straightforward. If you’ve lived in France

The next stage is to submit the pile of

Fraternité), French history (some

for more than five years, paid your taxes,

paper (your dossier) in person to an

famous people) and the basics of the

can understand and speak French (to a

organisation in Annecy (ADDCAES). This


fairly basic level) and prove that you have

first meeting is a very relaxed affair to

assimilated to an acceptable degree,

check your dossier is complete before

I found the process of researching these

you can become a French citizen. Before

submission. They were satisfied and

things enjoyable, I learnt a lot about

doing anything else I decided to take

booked me a date for the final interview

France and what makes it tick. However,

the language exam. If I fell at this hurdle I

in Grenoble.

I must admit that I found the interview

wouldn’t waste my time with the rest of it!

quite stressful. It was not the fault of my

It involved a trip to Annecy for an exam.

I posted off my dossier as instructed,

interviewer, she was pretty light hearted.

The make up of nationalities in the room

it was rejected fairly quickly. There

I guess it was just a consequence of

was interesting. Out of 30-40 people,

where various issues that ADDCAES

reaching the end of the process.

I was the only Brit. The majority were

had not picked up. I was given 28 days

North African and then the rest of the

to correct them, this I did, then I got a

That was back in May 2017 and I am

world. Thankfully I passed first time.

call, yet more issues. From talking to

writing this in January 2018. I expect to

The next step is the paper chase. For

others going through the process, this

know my result imminently...

Becoming French in Numbers: 2 â‚Ź55 386

The number of Nationalities I hope to have soon (I did not have to renounce my British Nationality)

The cost of making the application (ÂŁ1200 in the UK to apply for British nationality)

Britons applied in France 2015


Britons applied in France in 2016


Britons applied in France in 2017



Number of people gaining French nationality each year


French living in the UK


British living permanently in France


British living in Europe

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Alpine Interiors


By Liz Ockleton, Make Space Designs


“Living in the mountains provides a

space. Modifications to kitchens and

Designs vary from traditional chalet

dynamic and stimulating environment to

bathrooms can make a huge difference

style to a mix of modern, Scandinavian

create interesting and inspiring spaces

to the overall feel of a property and the


to live and work. For me, working

possibility to open up the internal living

alongside Alpine Property allows for

areas and add large picture windows

Often a renovation can seem daunting

a diverse range of property design

can totally transform a space. Local

to overseas buyers who do not speak

challenges, with projects ranging from

planning regulations are such that

the language or know where to buy

renovations of old farmhouses to new

they allow the modernisation of these

products. It is useful to have eyes

build chalet interiors and apartment

properties and are often quite flexible,

and ears on the ground to follow the

furnishings. My project specification

allowing the renovation of the old

renovation works through their various

varies from client to client. Some may

buildings to help restore the character

stages and carry the project through

want to create a luxury second home,

of properties and to maintain the pretty

to completion. My clients often find

other properties are to be set up as a

local mountain villages.

working with a local interior designer

property business for holiday rentals.

is easier, to manage on site works and In contrast there are a lots of new build

to recommend local suppliers and

Projects are varied and it is nice to feel

developments in the area which call on


like there are opportunities to restore

my interior design service to decorate

and bring new life into some of the older

and furnish properties to each individual

I often help clients interested in buying

character properties in the valley. Very

clients’ needs. This is a different design

a property to see the possibilities for

often the older properties are in need

brief but can also give the opportunity

renovation. It is sometimes difficult to

of extensive restoration and need to

to create something unique in a new

find your ideal property for sale and

be rebuilt from the inside to maintain

building environment.

sometimes seeing what is possible

original features. There is often a need

from a renovation point of view can

to remodel the internal space, to

Property owners are inspired to create a

inspire clients to have the confidence to

insulate and modernise, and make them

warm and welcoming mountain retreat.

purchase a property with the intention of

efficient, creating a well planned out

Somewhere they can relax and enjoy

then making the property their own.�

modern living environment.

the mountains and surrounding natural beauty. My projects often use a variety

With over 18 years design experience

My clients often want to reconfigure a

of natural wood finishes to add warmth

working in commercial and domestic

property for their individual needs. Often

and traditional chalet styling to a home

interiors in the UK and in France, Liz is

bedrooms and bathrooms need to be

mixed with stone, glass and ceramic

now based in the Portes du Soleil area

re-planned to maximise the internal living

tiles to offer a personal design touch.

with her husband and two children.


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This is

Paradise By Amie Henderson, Editor of Morzine Source Magazine


Not long ago, most of the permanent

the outskirts of Morzine, all of which are

genuinely knowledgeable local Alpine

residents in our valley, both French and

uniquely beautiful, quieter than central

Property agent. “We truly felt that our

English, worked in the local tourism

Morzine, and offer much more property

property search became their property

industry. But times, they are a changing.

for your money.” Whilst it’s often said

search and that we’d never miss a new

The sunny Alpine vistas, the ski slopes

that the price of land in Morzine is now

property coming on the market.”

on your doorstep, the relaxed summer

equal to that of central Paris, outlying

lifestyle and a growing trend for remote

villages such as Essert Romand, St

Gary’s prerequisites were good internet

working makes it easy to see why the

Jean d’Aulps, Essert La Pierre, Le Biot

and close proximity to an airport and

mountains have become home to folk

and Seytroux offer the perfect blend

the couple came up trumps with their

from all walks of life.

of traditional Alpine charm and sizable

purchase. Chalet Les 3 Flocons in

properties available to buy.

Seytroux had just come back on the

Gary Daly works in satellite

market, having been previously under

communications and first visited Morzine

“We were very frequent users of the

offer. With four double bedrooms, a

in 2001. Standing on the balcony of his

Alpine Property website” explains Gary.

large garden, stunning valley views and

hotel, breathing in the fresh Alpine air,

“We found it easy to understand, there’s

within 800m of the nearest shops, the

Gary said out loud “This is paradise”. In

a full range of properties and additional

property ticked every box. Within a

the same moment he set a goal to move

resources; we could tell that each

week the couple viewed the property,

here with his French wife Stephanie, as

property had been added with care,

made an offer and had it accepted.

soon as their three children had finished

attention and a whole host of extra detail

They moved in in time for Christmas


that we simply couldn’t find on other

in 2016. “After a long work trip, it’s an

property websites.” Buying a property

incredible experience to return home to

Fast forward to 2016. With an

in a foreign country could seem quite

these views. The light is so bright in the

empty nest and all three children

daunting but Gary and Stephanie were

mountains and we have lots of space for

firmly ensconced at their respective

guided through the entire process by

our children to visit during the holidays.”

Universities, it was time for the search to

their dedicated French-speaking agents.


“They helped us every step of the way. It

I’m desperate to know if Gary and

was seamless!”

Stephanie have discovered any down

“House prices had changed a fair bit

sides to live in the mountains. “Our only

between 2001 and 2016” explains

Stephanie and Gary made several trips

regret is that we didn’t do it earlier!”

Gary when we meet. “Consequently

to Morzine to view properties and were

Stephanie told me.

we started to explore the villages on

always accompanied by a helpful and

Thinking of taking the plunge? If you are thinking of setting up a French business or investing in French property and need advice in layman’s terms, speak to the experts, who can advise you on: Property investment & rental income Business registration & creation of subsidiaries Annual accounts & salaries Tax declarations for professional clients Income & wealth tax declarations related to property investments


We have 5 offices across the French Alps : in the ski resorts of Morzine, Les Gets and Chamonix, Annecy and an office near Geneva, and would be happy to meet you to discuss your project! Contact Debbie Bradbury for more information.

the English-speaking chartered accountants Tel : +33 (0)4 50 25 23 97

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Less is More Chamonix has been home to pioneers of all descriptions for many years. But the birthplace of modern alpinism is also a huge source of inspiration for modern day artists. Originally from Sheffield, artist and illustrator Tom Hine now calls the Chamonix valley home. Available to purchase as original artwork and limited edition prints, Tom’s work is


both clean and contemporary. Each piece begins life as pencil on paper, followed by the introduction of hand-inked illustrations before being prepared for print. Tom’s work can be found in exhibitions across the UK, yet it’s in Kathmandu, Nepal where Tom received the best critique he could ever hope for. Having painted a local rickshaw in this own bright, bold style, a young local boy excitedly approached him to enquire “Can you please explain your painting to me? Because I feel excited and I don’t know why?!” Mountain references feature prominently in Tom’s most recent HINEink collection. We see mountain traditions and folklore, both of which look splendid adorning the walls of homes in the mountains. Find out more:


The Alpine Property Magazine +33 (0)4 26 10 10 72 | +44 (0)208 123 2384

How I got Here

Agent Profiles All of our Agents share an enthusiasm for the mountains and a belief in going the extra mile for their clients. Most of them are Alpine Property shareholders committed to the company for the long term. Should you have the pleasure of meeting one of them you will find they are all lovely people as well!


Melanie Davis - Chamonix & Valley Chamonix had always been our 'place to be’; it was even our honeymoon destination! Originally we bought in La Chapelle d'Abondance, and stayed there for five years, running a catered chalet business. We didn't choose Chamonix right away. For us it was our lively holiday resort! Then we discovered Les Houches and bought a sweet little chalet there, just 10 minutes from the heart of our beloved Chamonix. It's wonderful in both the winter and the summer and there is enough going on to keep the family busy all year round!

Anna Allen - Vallée Verte During the booming 80s and 90s, I worked for Yellow Pages in the UK. I started in sales and eventually left as Management Training Manager to follow my dream. This was to renovate a farmhouse and create a chalet and hotel business in Morzine. After 18 fantastic years of skiing during the winter and mountain biking in the summer, I sold the business and started working with Alpine Property. Now I have fantastic colleagues and clients, a varied job and I can stay in the mountains that I love!

Aude Garnier - Les Carroz Claudia Buttet - Les Gets & St Jean d’Aulps I’m originally from central France and came to the area in 2000 after falling in love with the mountains and the local way of life. I’m very much a people person, having managed both a ski shop and very busy, popular local mountain restaurant for many years. I now live in Les Carroz with my partner and three children in a traditional Savoyard farmhouse that we renovated recently. It’s really a joy to introduce new people to the idea of a new life in the mountains, my role as an estate agent with Alpine Property means I can do this all the time!

Marie-Anne Denicolo - Morzine After a buzzing career as a solicitor and law lecturer, I was about ready for a sabbatical. A period of leave was negotiated and my ski season kicked off. That’s often how it all starts, n’est ce pas? Learning to speak French led to a job dealing with customer enquiries for Alpine Property, then to an opportunity to use my legal and training skills to help the agents, and finally to being an agent in the Morzine valley. It’s amazing what you can achieve in a (sixteen year) ski season!

Back in 1989 I came to the Alps to work in a local real estate agency. I decided very quickly that I could do better! It was in 1998 that Steve Norris came to me as a customer; he was interested in buying a farmhouse in Morzine which wasn't actually for sale. I convinced the owners to sell to Steve, he was impressed with my work and suggested that we work together. He’d find me customers and I’d find the properties. That’s how Alpine Property was born!

Ailsa Bishop - Morzine & St Jean d’Aulps I was stuck in a rut in a desk job in the UK. A fantastic holiday with friends to the Alps in 2005 gave me the impetus I needed to hand in my notice and run for the hills! A series of chance encounters led me from cleaning toilets to running a small hotel to owning my own restaurant, and finally to Alpine Property’s door, where I have been thoroughly enjoying my job as an estate agent for the past 7 years.

Ed Ockleton - Chatel & Valley Back in 2002, my wife and I decided to take a break from our respective careers in marketing and interior design to live in the Alps. It was a little spur of the moment and we set up a self catered holiday business to facilitate the move. We both quickly tired of the weekly holiday changeover routine and I soon found myself working with local agents selling properties, while my wife found her way back into interior design. In 2009 I crossed paths with Alpine Property and the rest, as they say, is history!

Géraldine Vicari - Samoëns I’m a native of the Valley d’Arve and I moved to Samoëns in 1999. Thanks to my extensive travels to foreign countries, I’d learnt various language skills along the way. In the year 2000 many Brits started to join our community and many of them became my friends, one of whom already worked for Alpine Property and suggested I join the team. I now combine two jobs that include taking charge of a French customer service responsibilities and also working as a sales agent for our valley.

Steve Elsdon - La Clusaz & Lac Annecy Lexie Starling - Samoëns Seeking change and adventure, my husband and I decided to spend a winter season in the Alps. With a sentimental attachment to the Haute-Savoie after nostaglic family holidays, I was keen to start our adventure in a community with a soul and a life outside just being ski resort. Geographically, I was keen that the resort should be near Geneva airport in case I needed to hop on a plane for work or to see family. Samoens ticked all these boxes and surpassed our expectations. We’re living our dream 11 years on with two beautiful boys raised in a fantastic community.

Vaguely Australian, my family and I have been long time residents of La Clusaz. Following several seasons in Meribel, we were looking for a more year-round area to start a family; having always loved Annecy we tried to find the closest ski resort - and succeeded! We have extensive experience in the chalet holiday industry and have helped many previous clients with complete property renovations. I now live in the market town of Thônes and manage several holiday rental properties in the Aravis area.

Manu Maclean - Chamonix & Valley Julie Mabboux - St Gervais & Les Contamines After studying business management, I went to San Diego, California for five months to learn English. Upon my return I found myself driving each day from St Gervais to my job in Geneva, which became more and more tiring when I got pregnant. Following the birth of my daughter in 2016, I decided I wanted to work from home. I met Steve and the Alpine Property team, who welcomed me into the family as an estate agent.

Liz Owens - Les Carroz Following a stay with friends at their ski apartment, and immediately falling in love with the mountains, my husband and I decided to relocate from the UK in 2002. Being in renovations, my husband transformed a traditional Savoyarde famhouse into a beautiful luxury chalet, which we ran as a business for seven years. By 2009 it was time for a change and I was delighted to join the Alpine Property team to look after the Grand Massif area.

Pre-children, I quenched my thirst for the outdoors by producing adventure documentaries. After having our first child, my partner and I were looking for a family-friendly foreign adventure. Through mutual connections we decided that a winter season in Chamonix was feasible with a toddler, as it was a fully functioning town year-round, as well as a ski resort. We found a place in Argentiere and seven years, another child and a dog later, we haven't left!

Jo Davison - Administration I left my job in IT recruitment in 2002 to follow the dream of renovating a holiday cottage with my builder husband in rural, central France. At the end of the project we weren’t ready to return to the UK so decided on a more permanent move to France. Drawn to the mountains by a love of hiking, climbing and skiing, plus greater opportunities for work, we arrived in Morzine in 2004 and I’ve been working with the team at Alpine Property ever since.


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Born on


By Gareth Jefferies, Marketing Director at Alpine Property You’ve seen the groups of knee high

available with timetable adjustments

the departmental Lycée that specialises

skiers blasting around the slopes in

to allow time off for training. This class

in alpine sports (Pôle Espoir). He’s

matching jackets. You might not have

won’t just have skiers, but hockey

competing nationally and has been

clocked the fact that it’s probably a

players, ice skaters, footballers and

given the entire winter off school to

Wednesday or a weeked. These are

others depending on the sports being

train. To account for the lack of lessons,

the 'Ski Clubs', beloved and nurtured

followed in the area. This carries on into

he has four years to complete his

by the local towns. In the UK such

higher education too.

Baccalaureate instead of the standard

clubs might be run by volunteers;



here in the mountains they’re run

My son surprised me a couple of

by professional instructors and the

years ago when I read some of his

Jacques’ friend Caitlin McFarlane

minibuses, clubhouses and equipment

homework. He’d written about an

remained on the Alpine track and stuck

that accompany them is supported in

ambition to compete at biathlon

with her local Ski Club. She now also

part by the local council. There’s a set

for France at the Youth Olympics in

represents France at national level

of entry requirements and a certain

Lausanne 2020. Despite the fact that

and is continuing her education at the

level of attainment to be maintained

Lausanne is only an hour away from

national centre in Albertville. Most of her

each year.

where we live, I didn’t even know

schooling takes place in the summer,

about the event! Jacques had diverted

followed by a long and intense winter of

To get on the ladder, most local

from the Alpine skiing route aged ten

training. Caitlin competes internationally

children will start on skis at just three

and had started cross country skiing

from this age and is rarely at home

years old. They’ll be enrolled in ESF

and biathlon with the Ski Club in Les

during the winter. To say they have

lessons, working their way through

Gets. For Alpine skiing you need to be

to be focused is trite, but so true. It’s

the nine stages, skiing at least twice a

fearless and place 100% trust in the

hard to comprehend unless you spend

week. Towards the end of the ladder,

instruction from your trainer. Jacques

some time with them. It’s an intensity

at around eight years of age, they’ll be

was more of an endurance athlete

of training that, for a youth, is probably

invited to try out for their local Ski Club.

and he took to cross country skiing

only comparable with gymnastics or

Once the young racers enter secondary

early on. He’s kept at it ever since with


school, there’s a sporting class

enthusiasm. Now aged 15, he attends

Local Heroes

Ones to watch on the international circuit: Tessa Worley (Le Grand-Bornand) Adeline Baud (Les Gets) Antonin Guigonnat (Morzine-Avoriaz) Benjamin Cavet (Chatel) Robin Buffet (Chamonix)


The Alpine Property Magazine +33 (0)4 26 10 10 72 | +44 (0)208 123 2384


Market Update By Claudia Buttet, Agent at Alpine Property


Talking to prospective purchasers looking

The property market across the Haute

diminishing as our customers place more

to buy in the main ski towns and villages

Savoie experienced strong growth from the

value on the other seasons.

across the Haute Savoie, combined

millenium until the global financial crash of

with close to 20 years of experience in

2007/8. Until then the market was mainly

If we take a closer look at what is currently

marketing and selling properties, means I

driven by the strong pound and British

available for sale, we see that there is little

have a good overview of the market and

purchasers based in the UK. There was

land available, along with older properties

plenty of perspective.

a short hiatus and some devaluation after

on the market in prime ski locations.

the crash, but the market was stabilised

The strong demand in 2015 resulted in

Our business has grown on the coat-tails

by an influx of Swiss based buyers. The

developers buying up this type of asset

of the boom in popularity of this area during

French also noticed the falling prices and

and building new luxury apartments in

that time. The reasons for the success of

reappeared in the market. From 2010

great numbers. We now see many of

the Haute Savoie can be summarised in

until 2014 the market slowly recovered,

these new apartments for sale in prime

three points. Firstly, the areas proximity

the number of buyers and sellers felt

locations. They have been built to higher

to Geneva airport and the thousands of

roughly equal until 2015 when buyers

specifications than previously, driven by the

flights that arrive there every year. Easyjet’s

outnumbered sellers and prices started

increasing demand for ‘luxury’ interiors and

growth over this period has played a big

rising strongly again. This state of affairs

more stringent building regulations.

part in allowing independent travellers easy

lasted up until the Brexit referendum of

access to the Haute Savoie. Secondly, our

2016, when the market hit another slow

Looking to the future, 2018 has started

ski villages are just that; more village than

down. The devaluation of sterling and

with a bang. Plenty of snow, more certainty

resort. This adds an authenticity to the area

uncertainty over the post Brexit situation

over the direction of Brexit and a stabilised

that our customers prefer when compared

hit UK based buyers badly. However this

exchange rate have all helped to push

to some of the purpose built resorts

brake was not comparable to 2008 as

things along for British buyers. Couple

elsewhere in the Alps. The final factor in the

the market had become less dependant

that with the Macron effect, which has left

areas success is its summer season. The

on British buyers. The effect of the Brexit

our French customers feeling buoyant,

area’s villages are thriving in the summer

issue on the market was compounded

and I now feel the market is taking a new

and the activities available are numerous.

by several years of poor snow conditions

positive direction and moving on from the

This is a benefit that has become more and

throughout the Alps. Interestingly the

slowdown of 2016/17.

more important over the years.

impact of snow conditions on the market is



The Alpine Property Magazine +33 (0)4 26 10 10 72 | +44 (0)208 123 2384


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The Alpine Property Magazine


The Alpine Property Magazine