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Alpine Gareth 200

Gareth Jefferies left the West Yorkshire Police in 1999 to make a new life for himself and his wife in the mountains.  A keen skier, with a love for all mountain activities, he really appreciates the distinct seasons that you get in this region. He now has 3 children, all of whom love the outdoors - indeed one is aiming to compete for France as a Biathlete in the 2020 Youth Olympics in Lausanne!

Responsible for marketing and technology at Alpine Properties, a French-registered estate agency with bilingual agents located all over the French Alps, Gareth is usually the first contact you will have the company. He is always happy to discuss your project with you, usually by email, suggesting various properties and making appointments.

www.alpine-property.com

Samoens in snow

by Gareth Jefferies, Alpine Property

We often get asked what the weather is like in the Alps. And where we get our forecast from. There are loads of resources available. I rarely use just one, I get used to putting them together to get an overview of the situation.

Our favourite forecast is from an amateur forecaster in Chamonix, it's good for most of the Haute Savoie. We find it works fine in St Gervais, Samoens and Morzine too.

We often use Snow-Forecast for long term trends, it's free up until 6 days however don't get too hung up on the actual numbers. It should be renamed rain-forecast in the summer.

gareth blog weather chart

And then MeteoBlue, this goes into more depth and forecasts further into the future.

If you want to get back to basics then there is always the pressure charts. The best are probably from the Met Office.

gareth blog weather chart 2

For a more micro idea of the current rain/snow there is a real time radar, this is great for picking dry periods between showers.

gareth blog radar

Webcams in the Haute Savoie.

When things are a bit grey in the valleys, we use the webcams to see what is happening on the mountain!

When there is a thunderstorm it can be fun seeing where the lightning is striking. This site shows the real-time strikes and is very accurate.

Author's bio

Alpine Gareth 200Gareth Jefferies left the West Yorkshire Police in 1999 to make a new life for himself and his wife in the mountains.  A keen skier, with a love for all mountain activities, he really appreciates the distinct seasons that you get in this region. He now has 3 children, all of whom love the outdoors - indeed one is aiming to compete for France as a Biathlete in the 2020 Youth Olympics in Lausanne!

Responsible for marketing and technology at Alpine Properties, a French-registered estate agency with bilingual agents located all over the French Alps, Gareth is usually the first contact you will have the company. He is always happy to discuss your project with you, usually by email, suggesting various properties and making appointments.

www.alpine-property.com

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St Jean d'Aulps

by Gareth Jefferies, Alpine Property

I've been asked a number of times recently about the current state of the property market in the Alps.

In brief the current market feels like a good balance between buyers and sellers. The French are buoyant but new British enquiries are hesitant. Long term British searchers are making the most of the good supply of properties and thanks to this we are agreeing plenty of sales. Swiss buyers in the French border areas seem to be largely unaffected by most of the events mentioned!

Some history.....I've been in this business now since the year 2000. Since then I have seen a steady rise in interest in ski properties in the Northern Alps up until we hit the top of the market in 2006/7. It felt like a bit of a bubble back then and with the benefit of hindsight it was! The Banking Crisis hit at the end of 2008 which brought everything to a grinding halt for 6 months, a slow recovery followed until 2015 which turned into boom time again. Brexit hit in June 2016 and the market has been taking stock since. It's not been like 2009 by any means but the interest has certainly ebbed and flowed somewhat over the last year.

There is certainly plenty of events that are giving pause for thought, Brexit, the economy (falling value of wages in the UK), terrorism and the exchange rate to name the biggest ones.

hot house 1

by Gareth Jefferies, Alpine Property

I don't suppose living in the Alps is that great from an Ecological perspective. Though as time goes on we are learning (actually, being slowly forced) to reduce our carbon footprint on the environment. Not many people think about this though, even with the government's attempts to help (see the DPE labels). I've written about it in the past too (An Eco-Chalet in the Alps). Despite this I did have a customer say to me recently "I'm only interested in building a new place...for eco reasons", maybe as time goes on it will happen more often? Though I'm not sure that building from scratch is that eco-friendly, despite the fact the heating bills will be less. The carbon footprint from the new materials might well outweigh the long-term benefits.

I've been living in my house for 14 years and have only got around to upgrading the last remaining single glazed windows this winter. It's never been a priority for me as I'm well aware that the pay back won't happen for 20 or more years. I took the opportunity to take some infrared pictures to show the difference before and after. It was a bit of an eye opener. Not the difference the windows made but how much heat my house is giving off!

The first photo shows my house on a cold day (-7C), the ground floor is 60cm of solid (stone and rubble) construction with no insulation. The upstairs of my property was insulated when it  was renovated 30 years ago. They use hollow bricks with a small amount of mineral wool insulation stuffed between them. There is no vapour barrier and externally the walls are wood clad. The shocking thing here is the walls are 10C. The single-glazed windows are obvious on the picture and are only slightly colder (15C) than the inside temperate at the time (19C).