Reading: These Properties Have Serious Altitude

These Properties Have Serious Altitude

With the ski season in motion, Sylvanus Urban spoke with ski property expert Steven Lafave, License Partner at Engel & Völkers Tremblant, on the ins and outs of shopping for a dream winter getaway. Read his advice and insights on in-demand luxury amenities and how to find the right property for your lifestyle.

CALL ME CRAZY BUT I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO CATCH A CHAIRLIFT IN MY BACKYARD. WHAT TYPE OF PROPERTY SHOULD I LOOK FOR?

Ski-in and ski-out property buyers have options, so it’s all about selecting what works best for your lifestyle. You may gravitate towards a new-build condominium or a heritage ski chalet.

Traditional ski-in and ski-out homes are favoured for their noble builds and often praised for beautiful features such as fireplaces, stone or wood frames and large windows. A chalet is a great property to own if you love entertaining and indulging in relaxation. Be sure to ask how close the property is to the ski village and its luxury resort facilities, as well as what other winter activities are offered in the area. You may find yourself taking up other winter activities like snowmobiling, snowshoeing or ice fishing.

Ski-in and ski-out condos are ideal for buyers who want to be in the heart of a central ski village, next to pubs, restaurants, luxury spas and ski repair shops. In this case, it’s important to find out whether the property you’re purchasing is a true ski-in and ski-out property. Although there are many condos advertised as such, some may be located far from the main ski hill and village.

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DO THESE PROPERTIES ONLY APPEAL TO SKIERS? MY PARTNER LOVES THE BEACH, HOW DO I CONVINCE THEM THIS IS A GREAT IDEA AND NOT GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE

There’s a lot to offer in terms of activities. Think warm cozy fires, premium dining experiences, spa treatments and nightlife all in the enclave of an easy to navigate small village. Ski communities offer a safe place to disconnect, with a laissez faire vibe. Many offer summer activities including beach and tennis clubs, hiking, alpine luge, bungee jumping and golf, making these properties a welcome getaway spot all year round.

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I’VE JUST SOLD ALL MY BITCOIN. IS NOW THE RIGHT TIME TO INVEST IN A SKI HOME?

Ski properties are in high demand, making them a sound investment. There is a product for every budget and properties are becoming increasingly rare. A decrease in supply is driving up values in many markets. Another incentive that makes these investments a fabulous asset is the option to tap into lucrative rental income.

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HOW IS OWNING A SKI PROPERTY DIFFERENT THAN LIVING IN MY CONDO?

Amenities! Being close to a ski village offers unrestricted access to nature, relaxation and recreation. In terms of maintenance, it’s quite similar to owning any other home. There are many great local services available to help owners take care of their properties, especially when they’re not around.

WHAT QUESTIONS DO PEOPLE NEED TO ASK BEFORE PURCHASING?

Working with a qualified, local professional is always recommended. They ask questions that help buyers make the right decision based on their needs and wants. These include: How often will we be skiing or using the surrounding amenities? How often do we want to use the property? Should we rent it out? With their guidance, answers to these questions will help determine if you should buy a condo, chalet or something in between.

WHAT FEATURES REALLY STAND OUT ABOUT SKI HOMES? A SECRET LIBRARY? A TWO-STORY FIREPLACE?

Some features that stand out include wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves, ski rooms, ski lockers, exterior spas, pools and outdoor fire pits. Often times these properties are conducive to accommodating guests who want to enjoy this way of life. Close proximity to the slopes is of course a bonus.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE ON ENTERING THE MARKET FOR A FIRST TIME OWNER?

My advice would be to identify your budget, know your must-haves and get in touch with a local real estate broker. Buyers can save a lot of time by working with someone dedicated to helping them find the right property for their lifestyle.

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Answers by Steven Lafave, License Partner, Engel & Völkers Tremblant