Five simple steps for purchasing a ski property in Switzerland

Switzerland, with its pristine alpine landscapes, world-class ski resorts, and charming mountain villages, is a dream destination for many ski enthusiasts. Purchasing a ski property in Switzerland not only offers a gateway to some of the best skiing in the world but also serves as a valuable investment in a country known for its stability and quality of life. This article provides a straightforward guide to acquiring your own piece of alpine paradise in Switzerland, inspired by the insightful content found on We’ll cover key area information, what it’s like to ski in these renowned destinations, and a step-by-step approach to making your dream ski property a reality.

Research and Choose Your Preferred Ski Region:
Switzerland boasts numerous ski regions, each with its unique charm, skiing conditions, and property market. The most popular areas for ski properties include:

Valais: Home to famous resorts like Zermatt and Verbier, Valais offers some of the highest ski slopes in Europe, ensuring a long skiing season. The region is known for its sunny days and breathtaking views of the Matterhorn.

Vaud: Featuring the glamorous resort of Villars and the family-friendly Leysin, Vaud combines excellent skiing with French-speaking Swiss culture. The area is easily accessible from Geneva and offers a mix of international appeal and tranquility.

Graubünden: With resorts such as St. Moritz, Davos, and Klosters, Graubünden is renowned for its luxury and vast ski areas. It’s a favourite among both international jet setters and those seeking extensive cross-country trails.

Bernese Oberland: This region includes the iconic resorts of Gstaad and Adelboden-Lenk, known for their picturesque villages and family-friendly slopes. It’s perfect for those looking for a combination of skiing and traditional Swiss lifestyle.

Understand the Swiss Property Market Regulations:
Switzerland has specific regulations for foreign property buyers, which can vary significantly from canton to canton. Here are some key points to consider:

Lex Koller: This federal law restricts non-residents from purchasing property in Switzerland, although there are exceptions, especially in tourist regions designated for foreign investment.

Quotas: Some cantons impose annual quotas on the number of properties that can be sold to foreigners.

Second Home Initiative: Legislation limits the construction of second homes in many Swiss communities, affecting the availability of new properties in ski resorts.

It’s crucial to research the specific regulations of the region where you intend to buy, or consult with a real estate professional who specializes in Swiss ski properties.

Budgeting and Financial Planning:
Property Prices: Swiss ski properties are among the most coveted and can be quite expensive. Prices vary widely by location, property size, and proximity to ski lifts. It’s important to set a realistic budget that includes purchase costs, taxes, and maintenance.

Swiss banks offer mortgages to foreign buyers, typically requiring a minimum down payment of 20-30%. Interest rates are low, but buyers must prove financial sustainability.

Additional Costs:
Don’t forget to account for notary fees, property transfer taxes, and annual property taxes, which can differ by canton.

Conduct a Thorough Property Search:
Use Reputable Platforms: Websites like, local real estate agencies, and international property portals are excellent resources for finding ski properties in Switzerland.

Visit the Properties:
If possible, visit Switzerland to see the properties first hand and get a feel for the different ski resorts and communities. Consider factors like accessibility, local amenities, and potential rental opportunities.

Hire a Local Expert:
A local real estate agent or a property lawyer can provide invaluable assistance, from navigating legal requirements to negotiating the purchase.

Finalise the Purchase:
Due Diligence: Before committing to a purchase, conduct due diligence on the property. This includes checking the title, understanding the property’s condition, and ensuring compliance with local regulations.

Signing the Contract:
The purchase process typically involves signing a reservation contract, followed by a public deed of sale, which is executed in the presence of a notary.

Ownership Transfer:
Once the contract is signed and the payment is made, the property ownership is transferred to the buyer. The entire process can take several months to complete.

What It’s Like to Ski in Switzerland:
Skiing in Switzerland is an unparalleled experience. The country’s resorts offer a wide range of skiing opportunities, from gentle slopes for beginners to challenging off-piste adventures for the experts. Swiss ski areas are well-maintained, with state-of-the-art lift systems and excellent amenities. The après-ski culture is vibrant, with a plethora of options for dining, shopping, and relaxation. Beyond skiing, Switzerland’s alpine regions offer activities like snowboarding, tobogganing, and winter hiking, making it a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

In Conclusion:
Purchasing a ski property in Switzerland is a dream for many skiing aficionados and those looking for a secure investment in a country known for its beauty, culture, and high standard of living. By following these five simple steps, you can navigate the complexities of the Swiss property market and make an informed decision. Whether you’re drawn to the luxury of St. Moritz, the charm of Zermatt, or the family-friendly atmosphere of Villars, owning a ski property in Switzerland provides a unique opportunity to enjoy the best of alpine living.