Chamonix home - before and after

Published on  

July 11, 2024

Your dream home in the French Alps will soon be a reality. You won't have to choose between which season to visit the roaring peaks of...

Like many on your homeownership journey, we realised over the years just how challenging it can be to not only find a holiday home in a new country (even harder if you don’t speak the language) but also everything after you have decided this is the house of your dreams.

It can be especially time-consuming and a minefield to navigate. There also tends to be a lot of questions that need to be answered...

  • How do I find qualified people to help me assess the property?
  • Where do I start when it comes to renovation?
  • Who will oversee the renovation if I can’t be there on the ground most of the time?
  • Can I even communicate with the suppliers and speak their language?
  • How much extra is it going to cost me?
  • Does this even make sense?!

After acquiring the property and once the renovations are done, it's about figuring out how to design and furnish it... After all, it's your home so it should feel cosy, comfortable and to your style. Typically, by the time many reach this point, many are so overwhelmed in their journey, they are keen to just "get it done", focusing on function rather than the little details that can transform a freshly painted property into their dream holiday home.

Why August made sense for my family

My wife, Shawn, and I have been planning ahead for retirement; thinking about the ideal retirement lifestyle.  Having lived in Europe for 3 years and having vacationed there multiple times, we knew spending time in Europe would be an important part of this plan.

We have visited 27 countries in Europe, and are most fond of Italy, France and Spain. . We typically visit Europe for a week or two during the shoulder seasons, such as April, May.

Over the last two years we’ve spent hundreds of hours obsessively searching for holiday homes on over 50 websites in Italy and France, but we never found exactly what we wanted. We had a clear set of criteria, but no single home met our needs. We were also finding it difficult to choose between Italy or France. In the holiday homes we considered we always had to make some sacrifices, some trade-offs that we didn’t want to make.  But, then we found August’s City Collection and it checked all of the boxes.  We didn’t have to make any sacrifices in what wanted, and in fact got even more!

Our criteria compared to what August has to offer

The criteria we had when looking for specific properties were a traditional-looking villa in Tuscany or the South of France, a stand-alone property, a pool and close to a town. Our primary criteria as a family were the location and surrounding terrain; we prefer properties that are near or on the water. We enjoy swimming, kayaking, and boating in all year around. But we also love to hike in the summer and snow-shoe in the winter. This is why the City Collection fits our needs perfectly.  With location in Cannes, Mallorca, Barcelona, Chamonix and Tuscany, all of our favourite activities are covered.

Multiple locations so we don’t have to keep going back to the same place

We've been to all of the locations except Cannes as a family, so we already know what the destinations have to offer. We are excited about having entirely new adventures in places that are familiar. Plus with five locations in the City Collection we don’t have to keep going back to the same place each year!Although we aren't skiers we enjoy the climate and activities that Chamonix has to offer in the summer months. We are excited about being able to hike in the Alps one day, and then do a short day-trip to Lake Annecy to swim on the next day. And of course we are looking forward to spending many days on the beaches of Mallorca, Cannes and Barcelona.

Home expectations vs reality

Prior to joining August, we used to rent a lot and stay in flats and villas and our stays ranged from a few days to a week. But the rental properties were always lacking in some dimension  of ambience or comfort or both. Most importantly, we never felt a sense of being ‘at home’ and being able to comfortably settle in.

The August homes' design and aesthetics nicely combine tradition with modern comforts. we know the August standards are high, and we can already tell that they'll make us feel at ease and at home.  We also like Augusts’ “ownership” model, knowing that each of the 21 families in the City Collection is an owner and has a vested interest in keeping the properties in great condition (vs. short term renters).

Our future holiday patterns

We lived in Europe for over 3 years and we love traveling by car, plane and boat from country to country.  We like that the City Collection gives us the  freedom to move around from location to location.  And compared to the driving distances in the US, all of these locations are relatively close to one another.

As a couple, we’re excited to spend time in the homes together and we’re even more excited about spending time together with family and friends. We're ecstatic at the prospect of being able to travel around Europe on the spur of the moment, falling in love with one location after another without feeling confined! The only difficult thing is choosing which home to visit first!


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