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Where to find properties for sale in Rhone-Alpes

Named after the Alps, arguably the most popular mountain range in the world, this is one of France’s most important regions, even if you might struggle to define its borders. But bordering Switzerland, it includes the Savoie and Haute Savoie and also Lyon, France’s second largest city after Paris.

It’s the ski resorts of the region that attract most of the buyers from both France and overseas, and there really is something for all price brackets if you want a charming little stone village house or a cosy chalet in the mountains.

Increasingly outdoorsy families use mountain homes all year round, as the trend for biking grows steadily, and with many on the Tour de France route, there are opportunities to run tourism businesses too.

In the big-name resorts of the Three Valleys - the biggest ski region in the world - you’ll pay top whack, but look to the smaller villages of this domain such as Le Menuires and St Martin de Belleville for much greater options with a budget of €200,000 or €300,000.  Or the Southern Alps and you can quite easily get an apartment for €50,000 or a house for €200,000.

When choosing a home in the Alps, it’s all about access and why you want a home. If you are a keen skier who wants frequent weekends away you need to be within an hour or so of an airport, for example in Chamonix, or Saint Gervais Les Bains, an hour from Geneva. There is also a good choice of resorts reached within 1hr 15 minutes from Chambery airport - Valmorel, Le Grand Bornand and La Clusaz are three of the closest. The Three Valleys’ Meribel and Courchevel are a good 90 minutes away but still viable for long weekends.

Lyon and Grenoble are further airports that access this vast region - the latter is a good option for the well-known yet more affordable resorts of Les Deux Alpes and Alpe d’Huez - two key resorts that will be linked with a new lift in 2018.

Buying a home in the French Alps can bring great returns now that a growing number of resorts are gearing themselves up for year-round usage. As more and more developing nations discover winter sports it’s a region that will offer a good return in every sense.

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