Is life as a Chalet-owner abroad possible?


Registered User
Ok folks … brace yourselves for one of the madder posts. This is a daydream of mine that is started to really niggle.

I’ve been completely bitten the skiing bug. I’m not great at it but I just love it and would give my right arm to ski for at least one season or even make it part of my (winter) life permanently. I’ve never had a gap year or even lived abroad and and feel I’m missing out. Also I’m 30 and although there are no plans for me and MrRibena to start a family, I half-expect my biological clock to start ticking and basically feel my days are numbered for this kind of dreaming. My only real career ambition has been to have my own business but to date I haven’t had the idea that I’ve been confident enough to go ahead with.

So far I’ve tried persuading existing employers to either give me more holidays or unpaid leave or even a leave of absence but they are not biting. It’s a small company and I can see their point really.

My other idea is now that (obviously pending finding the right place at the right price – big if really) we could possibly buy a chalet type house in one of the Romanian ski resorts and run it ourselves; thereby having an investment property, possibly future home and business all rolled into one. Having this in place for the season after next (i.e. winter 2009/10) seems like a fairly realistic prospect, by the time we’d find/build it, research/learn the business, do cookery course, improve my Romanian etc. We would have support of his (very large!) family so wouldn’t be isolated that way. He’s an excellent skier so could possibly train as a guide/coach also.

Me: 30
MrRibena 26
Earnings: Me: €50,000, MrRibena €30,000
House value: €250,000 (maybe less these days)
Mortgage: €35,000
Savings (me) €18,000
Savings (him) €2,000
Other loans: none
Car: Own one outright but nothing fancy
Pension: I have about €20,000 in mine. MrRibena has none.
Spending pattern: Pay visa off every month etc. Living well within our means but currently holidays (mostly skiing and trips to Romania) come in at around €10,000 - €15,000 which we save for and pay off so could easily save this amount per year if we had to. Never in debt of any kind really.

The house and mortgage are ‘mine’ and I’d really like to hold onto the house in Ireland and possibly let it out. Other than that, we have no ambition to be rich, just secure.

Is this idea really crazy? How much could we afford to spend on a chalet place in Romania if we hold onto the house or if we sell? Would coming back to Ireland in summer and doing some kind of temporary work (say me admin, him building/driving work) make any sense as work in Romania is not likely to be available?


Registered User
It seems to make most sense for us; country with a developing ski scene, also he's Romanian (language, connections, easier to get residency etc), still cheapish (comparatively) and I fell in love with the country too and speak a bit of the lingo.


Registered User
Whatever you decide, aim very high as in altitude, at least 1850m+. Snow season is getting shorter each year..:(
What do you plan of doing the other 6/8 months of the year when there is no snow?