Bluff The Listener Our panelists read three stories about a property listing in the San Francisco Bay Area that caught our attention, only one of which is true.
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Bluff The Listener

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Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

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Our panelists read three stories about a property listing in the San Francisco Bay Area that caught our attention, only one of which is true.

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago...

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: ...This is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Paula Poundstone, Tom Papa and Negin Farsad. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Right now, it's time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAITWAIT to play our game on the air. Hi, you are on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

REV. BILL FISACKERLY: Hi, it's Bill Fisackerly from Marco Island, Fla.

SAGAL: Oh, wow. Hey, Bill. Where is Marco Island? Is it in the Keys?

FISACKERLY: No, it's above the Keys. But what you do is you go to the Everglades, get lost, take a look, and you're in Marco.

SAGAL: Oh, that's great.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And what do you do there?

FISACKERLY: I'm the pastor at a church here - actually, I will be. I start on Sunday.

SAGAL: You start?

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Wow.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So this weekend is your first time at this church? You have a really good sermon worked up?

FISACKERLY: What day is it?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Bill, it's very nice to have you with us. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Bill's topic, Bill?

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: It's got lots of potential.

SAGAL: Bay Area real estate up in California is known for finding that sweet spot between completely unaffordable prices and utterly unlivable spaces. Well, this week, we found a property in the Bay Area listings that caught our attention. Our panelists are going to tell you about it. Pick the one who's telling the truth describing the real property that you could buy, and you will win our prize, the WAIT WAIT voice of your choice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?

FISACKERLY: I'm ready.

SAGAL: All right. Our first real estate listing comes from the Negin Farsad.

NEGIN FARSAD: Charming fixer-upper in trendy Bay Area neighborhood. Everybody loves a fireplace. What if the whole house was a fireplace?

(LAUGHTER)

FARSAD: That's right. This beautiful mid-century home at 641 Central Avenue in Alameda, Calif., was completely hollowed out by a devastating fire. Have you ever looked up and thought, oh, ceilings are so confining?

(LAUGHTER)

FARSAD: Then this property is for you because it has no roof because it was engulfed in earth-shattering flames.

(LAUGHTER)

FARSAD: Revel in the burnt embers that give this striking home that sepia-toned vintage vibe.

(LAUGHTER)

FARSAD: One of the most thrilling features of this 3,000-square-foot property is the original exposed brick walls. They're exposed because the fire burnt the walls all the way down to the brick. It was really intense.

(LAUGHTER)

FARSAD: Snatch up this hot property for just $400,000 and sleep under the stars literally, because remember; the roof is gone.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: It's a bargain. It's a fixer-upper. It's been gutted by fire. Your next story of a place to live in San Francisco comes from Tom Papa.

TOM PAPA: Looking for a home near the San Francisco Bay? How about in the bay? From the same people who brought you the San Francisco houseboats comes the all-new house submarine. Welcome to your home away from everyone else's home.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: This 1,100-square-foot converted World War II mini-sub sits 20 feet below a small canal on Mission Creek just a short swim from avocado toast and trendy cold-pressed juices.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: There's nothing more relaxing after a long commute than saying goodbye to the city and submerging 50 feet underwater, where your only neighbors are sea lions, fish and the occasional lost paddleboarder. Wondering where your pizza delivery is? Just put up your periscope and take a peek.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: Don't want to spend money on expensive window dressing? Good news - it's a sub. You don't have windows.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: According to Mary Tapper (ph), real estate agent to the Silicon Valley mega-rich, it's a perfect starter home for a family because small children are the perfect size for submarine life...

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: ...And can be used as bait during the whale migration.

(LAUGHTER)

PAPA: That's right, all it takes is some forward thinking, a pair of those stretchy boat shoes and $800,000, and you, too, can almost afford to live in San Francisco.

(LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: A submarine submerged in Mission Creek. Your last story of an unusual home in the Golden State comes from Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: The house at 322 Little Baltoff (ph) street on Potrero Hill in San Francisco rather marches to the beat of its own drummer. It is not built into the side of the hill. The entire house is slanted with the slope of the hill as though it was a large box that someone dropped while carrying it up the steep grade.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: The slanted house has a for sale sign also posted at an angle for over a year. Selling it has been a challenge. The rugs are made of Velcro, says realtor Sharon Pushkin (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: When you enter the house, you put on these Velcro-soled shoes. They work great, but they don't come in hard-to-fit sizes. People who take bigger than a size 13 or have unusually wide feet usually gather where the wall meets the floor on the downhill side of the house.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: I like to really hammer the unique and positive features of the home. Like, you can stargaze right from your bed out the back bedroom window. You can drop your clothes on the floor of your bedroom, and so long as your closet door is open, they go right in.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: Plus, the bathtub has a deep end.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: So you could in fact, Bill, right now go out, if you had the money, buy one of these homes in San Francisco or adjoining areas. Was it from Negin Farsad, a house that's really a bargain - only $400,000 - but it has been completely gutted by fire; from Tom Papa, the house that's a home under the sea, a mini-sub that you could buy; or from Paula Poundstone, a house in San Francisco that was somehow put right on the slope without anybody noticing the slope, so it provides a tilted lifestyle? Which of these is the real home in the San Francisco Bay area?

FISACKERLY: Well, I'm going to go with Negin.

SAGAL: All right, you're going to go with Negin's story of the house that was gutted by fire and is on sale anyway. Well, we actually spoke - this is great - to the realtor who is right now trying to sell this property.

MIKE LANE: It's listed for $399,000, and it is burned and just a shell of a house.

(APPLAUSE)

FARSAD: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Burned to the brick and only $400,000. Congratulations, Bill, you got it right. You earned a point for Negin, and you've won our prize, the voice of anyone from our show you might like on your voicemail. Thank you so much for playing with us today.

FARSAD: Thank you, Bill.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE")

DIE WIENER SANGERKNABEN: (Singing) Watch out; you might get what you're after. Cool, babies, strange but not a stranger. I'm an ordinary guy burning down the house.

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