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See the French countryside home purchased for only $1.26

It's hard to believe someone could buy a home for only one dollar. It's even harder to believe that it would be in the charming French countryside.But that's exactly what 27-year-old Alexis Lamoureux did.In 2010, the Frenchman moved back to his hometown of Amboise, France, approximately two hours south of Paris, with his girlfriend, Lotte Van Riel. Soon after arriving, they learned that his great-
Alexis Lamoureux
Alexis Lamoureux

It's hard to believe someone could buy a home for only one dollar. It's even harder to believe that it would be in the charming French countryside.

But that's exactly what 27-year-old Alexis Lamoureux did.

Alexis Lamoureux stands in the home's living room before the renovation.Today

In 2010, the Frenchman moved back to his hometown of Amboise, France, approximately two hours south of Paris, with his girlfriend, Lotte Van Riel. Soon after arriving, they learned that his great-aunt's troglodyte home — a domesticated cave dwelling common in the area — was in shambles with no water, no power and with structural issues from erosion. 

"We believed that we could possibly do something," he said. The local government inherited the home at the time of his great-aunt's death, so Lamoureux offered the city 1 Euro — approximately $1.26 — for the property. The city accepted his offer.

Alexis' girlfriend, Lotte, stands in the home's entrance pre-renovation.Today

“I told them that the property had potential, but the time was ticking because we all knew it had a structure problem,” Lamoureux told TODAY.com in an email. “They had to get rid of it.”

While the city sold him the home, the bargain purchase needed an overwhelming amount of work to get it in livable shape. Over the next three years, Lamoureux worked in a local bar to save approximately $50,000 for the necessary updates. Finally, in February 2013, Lamoureux and Van Riel started the renovations, hiring local artisans and doing much of the work themselves to get the home up to modern standards.

One of the home's bedrooms before and after the renovation. Today

From building trenches where the electrical wires would be buried to applying stucco to the home — which Lamoureux said was the hardest part of the entire project— the couple began making Lamoureux's great aunt's home their own. 

“Putting stucco on the ceiling in the living room took on its own a whole week to be done,” Lamoureux said. 

The home's entrance after the renovation. Today

They finished updating the space last spring and now live in the home — which they call Chez Helene after Lamoureux's aunt — and rent out one bedroom as a bed and breakfast. 

The home's living room allows for lots of sunlight during the day and a cozy place to dine at night. Today

"We feel like we've been very lucky being able to accomplish the project, even if we worked really hard on it," he said. "It is gratifying. We enjoy every moment we are in it."