Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Get That Grand Piano into an Alpine Chalet; Diary of an Estate Agent

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Get That Grand Piano into an Alpine Chalet; Diary of an Estate Agent

Article excerpt

MONDAY This ski season I'm already averaging nearly 1,000 miles a week

handling client visits and meeting developers, so it's a good thing the new company car arrived this morning. Snow tyres, four-wheel drive and a panoramic sunroof are necessities when viewing properties around the Alps.

First stop is to meet a developer in Val d'Isere. We have a chalet client with an PS8million budget being flown to the resort at the end of the week and the developer will pilot the helicopter. I will be praying for good weather. We need to discuss the floor plans because the client wants a pool and cinema in the basement -- a fairly standard request these days. Before I start the next journey, to La Rosiere, we have lunch in the new Fondue Factory underneath some flats we're selling in the village centre.

TUESDAY Waking up in La Rosiere, about three feet of fresh snow has fallen. It snowed just about everywhere in the Alps last night, enough to see most resorts through until Easter.

The first job of a day is to rescue a colleague who has mistaken a narrow piste for a road. Fortunately for him he chose his hire car well, and we make it down the piste unscathed. Everyone is noticeably twitchy during the morning's viewing. Deep snow and blazing sunshine beckon and after a few subtle nods to the developer we hit the slopes for some of the best off-piste we have ever skied.

WEDNESDAY Today I'm travelling to Chatel, a resort that has become extremely popular with British buyers. Chatel is one of just a few resorts in the Portes du Soleil where you still come across old farming chalets that have cows living downstairs and people living upstairs. Prices are still competitive here, too, at around PS5,120 per square metre for ski-in ski-out property -- Val d'Isere is PS19,700 plus.

My appointment is with a client who wants to check on the progress of her penthouse, part of a new project adjacent to the slopes. The viewing is going well, when she slips in that she wants her grand piano to fit into the apartment. …

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