French Property News - - Location -

Ben Far­ley, an agent with Leggett Im­mo­bilier, has called Ste-foy home for 12 years. He lives just out­side the vil­lage with his Fin­nish wife Heidi and their three trilin­gual chil­dren, who are all at the lo­cal school. “The thing about Ste-foy is that you drive up from Bourg-st-mau­rice which is not par­tic­u­larly at­trac­tive and you get here and ev­ery­thing is per­fect,” he says. “There are no ugly build­ings; ev­ery­thing is sort of pic­ture post­card, very sweet.

“The re­sort is won­der­ful in win­ter and busy dur­ing the sum­mer months, but in off sea­son times it’s very, very quiet.”

Still, he says, you can buy a baguette at any time of year, and in the old vil­lage there is a pop­u­lar ho­tel-res­tau­rant-bar which is the so­cial hub of the com­mu­nity.

Ben says he has been suc­cess­ful sell­ing in the vil­lage – ex­pect to pay around €250,000€400,000 for apart­ments – be­cause he be­lieves in it. Bri­tish buy­ers know Ste-foy is close to Val d’isère. But drive across the val­ley to the car park at Le Pré, a ham­let of Vil­laroger, and you can take the chair­lift into Les Arcs. “It’s a seven-minute drive from the vil­lage to that lift,” says Ben.

From La Rosière (25 min­utes up the road) you can ski in the Es­pace San Bernardo over to La Thuile in Italy; in sum­mer you can drive there through the Col du Petit St-bernard.

Hav­ing Italy on your doorstep is just fan­tas­tic, he says. “You per­haps would not want to stay in La Rosière for a whole week of ski­ing but for a day out it’s hard to beat.” Go­ing fur­ther south be­yond the turn-off for Ste-foy you get to a part of Tignes called Les Brévières which, for skiers who live in Ste-foy, is a great start­ing point. It’s 10 min­utes by car, park­ing is free and it’s easy and con­ve­nient.

Ben’s main clien­tele is Bri­tish and most are seek­ing sec­ond homes, al­though some do come to live year-round. “We’re at 1,000m in the vil­lage and the tem­per­a­ture was 30°C most of this sum­mer,” he says. “You know, I say to peo­ple it’s like get­ting a sum­mer hol­i­day lo­ca­tion thrown into the deal, which is some­thing you can’t say for Val d’isère or Tignes where it can some­times snow in Au­gust.”

Re­tirees ski till the snow melts, then ex­change their skis for walk­ing boots and binoc­u­lars. For folk still in the work­force, Ste-foy’s prox­im­ity to Val d’isère – “the beat­ing eco­nomic heart of this val­ley” – is a con­stant source of em­ploy­ment, par­tic­u­larly in tourism and con­struc­tion. “Val d’isère is just go­ing all the time – it’s just in­cred­i­ble growth,” he says.

Tak­ing to the slopes

Ste-foy and the sum­mit of the Aigu­ille Rouge

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