'Extreme Makeover' extremely expensive: winning man forced to move out
And then he faced the reality of living like the rich people do on a monthly pension of $939, which was not even enough for the 56-year-old man to afford the $11,500 annual cost of utilities and property taxes. Not to mention considerable debts Marrero had amassed in his years of living in poverty (not detailed by news reports) that were barely repaid by a $59,000 donation from the community. Marrero tried to sell the home -- he wanted to ask $499,000, a price that local real estate agents said would be hard to achieve -- but Urban Promise wouldn't let him.
Whether he's learned anything about using money wisely is debatable. Much like lottery winners, who probably displayed their doubtful financial literacy by using lottery tickets as an "investment" in the first place, the recipients of "extreme" largess are typically saved out of considerable financial holes by their brand-new homes. It is not to say that anyone who's struggling with poverty, illness, or other hardships don't "deserve" glitzy TV charity; but it is highly unlikely that many of them are able to quickly become conversant in the challenges of living large.
Especially if their incomes don't even leave enough cash left over to pay for the stamp to mail their bill payments. As often is the case on TV, it looks a lot better on the small screen than on the super-sized canvas that is life.