Rookie of the Year
The exterior of a sun-drenched, palatial red-bricked home. (It is not Matt Marrone's new house.)

I Bought a House

The cover of Unwinnable Monthly Issue #147. It shows an ornate bronze crucifix on a verdigris background.

This column is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #147. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.


A tongue-in-cheek but also painfully earnest look at pop culture and anything else that deserves to be ridiculed while at the same time regarded with the utmost respect. It is written by Matt Marrone and emailed to Stu Horvath and David Shimomura, who add any typos or factual errors that might appear within.


So, I bought a house yesterday. 

It cost most of my life savings, which, as homeowners know, can take some time to come to terms with. But otherwise, it was completely painless – because other than getting the certified checks from the bank and signing a bunch of papers, the Wife of the Year basically did everything. 

At the closing, I met our lawyer for the first time. Should I be ashamed to admit this? Have you ever read this column before?

I was sick on the day of the closing, too, with a stomach bug our first-grader brought home from school. I slept all day leading up to it, terrified that if I didn’t get my act together, the whole legal procedure would turn into Weekend at Bernie’s. My existence already might have been in doubt leading up to the closing, but if my wife showed up dragging along a seemingly deceased person, that would have sealed the deal. (Or unsealed it.)

Anyway, there are lovely stories to tell about the house and also a lot of panic attacks and nightmares to share. I think this might have been among the most stressful few months of my life, if not the most stressful. And of course, it doesn’t end today. Surely my lack of DIY skills, for example, will only become more pronounced. I have already tried to replace a doorknob and . . . that did not go well.

In a still from the 90s television show Home Improvement, Tim "The Tool-Man" Talyor holds up a power strip while his assistant Al Borlen looks on warily.

But if you’re considering buying a house, or are in the process, let me do what the Rookie of the Year column does best: impart some of the vast wisdom its author has acquired in, um, the past 24 hours or so:

  1. The best DIY skill is the ability to sign checks. I intend to solve as many problems as possible in this house simply by doing that. As I am now all-in, I am resigned to continue doing this until I am completely broke. Support your local economy!
  2. If you’re like me, the big home-buying decision will be: Do you stay in the city or flee to the suburbs? In my case, I chose the city. This is also the moment when one truly realizes whether A) They really love the city, B) They’re masochists too tied to the city to ever escape it or C) Both. 
  3. An offshoot of No. 2: Beware – city houses are expensive! For what we paid for this house, we could be living now in a palatial estate in Bumblefuck, Nowhere. Would life be less stressful? Most likely. Would we have a huge backyard and maybe space enough to build my dream man cave? Probably. Would I lose my mind within the first month? Definitely.
  4. Try to marry someone who is a home-buying rock star. As I said, she crushed it. Doubtless she resents me forever for it, but, let’s be honest, I’ve had nowhere to go but up for some time now.

That’s all I’ve got so far. Still, it’s quite an impressive list considering I only semi-bought my house yesterday. If those four nuggets are any sign, I am on my way to becoming the next Bob Vila, or at least Tim Taylor. And, as always, the real winner will be you!


Matt Marrone is a senior MLB editor at He has been Unwinnable’s reigning Rookie of the Year since 2011. You can follow him on Twitter @thebigm.


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