Before & After: French Ruin (Bought for 1 Euro!) Turned Cozy Cave Home

Vocativ

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We run a lot of Before & After stories on this site, but this might be the worst Before photo I've ever seen. (Okay, okay, this one might give it a run for its gloriously disgusting money.) This is a photo of the inside of a cave dwelling that an enterprising French couple decided to turn into a modern home.

Four years ago, Alexis Lamoureux moved to Amboise, in France's Loire river valley, and began searching for a place for him and his girlfriend, Lotte van Riel, to live. He happened to hear about a troglodyte home, or cave dwelling, that had once belonged to his great-aunt. Unfortunately, the home had fallen into disrepair: the ceiling was on the verge of caving in, there were no utilities, and the place was full of trash. Fortunately, it was for sale. The next week, Alexis snapped it up at auction for the budget-friendly sum of 1 euro.

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That was far from the end of the road, though. Alexis needed 25,000 euros to fix the collapsing ceiling and make his new home livable, but no one would give him a loan. So he and Lotte worked for three years in his father's restaurant to save money before the work could even begin.

Once they could afford to, Alexis and Lotte placed 11 anchors to keep the ceiling from collapsing, and then the real fun began. Work took a little over a year, and included cleaning, clearing out lots of lots of trash, and digging a trench so utilities could reach the home.

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But all that hard work paid off — today Lotte and Alexis enjoy a two-bedroom, two-bath cozy cave home. They have water and electricity and even the internet. And they're renting the second bedroom on AirBnB, so if you happen to be in France, you can experience cave living, too.

To see more photos of the transformation and read more about the history of the troglodyte houses, check out the original story on Vocativ.

(Image credits: Vocativ)

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