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Google Purchases Its First Home 146

noparkingzone writes "ZDnet is reporting that Google has purchased the garage that the company first called home for an undisclosed sum. The Menlo Park structure was owned by a friend of one of Brin's girlfriends. Leased to Serge and Brin by Susan Wojcicki for around $1,700 per month in 1998, the original Googleplex is intended to be preserved as part of the company's living history."
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Google Purchases Its First Home

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  • Heh (Score:2, Funny)

    by B3ryllium ( 571199 )
    Man, I wish I could purchase a few of the places I've lived in ...

    ... so I could burn them down! What horrible places to live. Ick.

  • It's a sad state of affairs in the real estate market today if that little house is all Larry & Serge can afford with their jobs.
  • by Fysiks Wurks ( 949375 ) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:20AM (#16276399)
    That must have been one sweet slab...
  • California (Score:5, Funny)

    by paranode ( 671698 ) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:21AM (#16276409)
    Only there would you pay 1700/month to live in a garage!
    • can you still park in it?
    • Re:New York (Score:2, Interesting)

      by EVil Lawyer ( 947367 )
      You're right. In New York, you'd be lucky to get a garage for $2,500.
    • No California, just the SF/SJ area, and Menlo Park is one of the higher priced cities there. That $1700 Menlo Park garage would rent you a three bedroom house in Pasadena or Redding.
      • I live in Riverside which is a far eastern suburb of LA and there are people living in van's, rv's, garages while the rest of their family/families sleep 2-3 people per room in the tiny homes. No I dont live in the hood either but in a middle class neighborhood. Old time residents pay $600 a month for their mortage while newer residents pay $3000 a month for a similair place and 2-3 families need to combine together to afford the mortage. Its insane and it looks like the third world.

        Its illegal to live like
        • I've been all over California, and I've never seen anything like this. I have occasionally seen illegal immigrants packed in tight, but never ever have I seen more than one middle class family per house, let alone living in the RV.
          • Meaning you have never seen this in a middle class neighborhood or the current situation is so bad that you have never seen this regularly?

            I would not call my neighborhood upper middle class but all the homes are between 1200 and 1500sq feet with 3-4 bedrooms. but yes the neighbors sleep in the garage and in a van and there are several RV's with people sleeping in them in driveways here. The home I am in is worth 380k.

      • I was looking at homes in Passadena and could not find anything under 700k last summer. My gf has 2 kids so 3 bedrooms is a must. If you go to you can see that homes have been going up 75% a year since 2000. Maybe things have changed in the market since you looked last.

        I just pray that the bubble bursts soon because its just unaffordable here.
  • $1,700 a month? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:21AM (#16276413) Journal
    $1,700 month to rent a garage? That much a month would cover the entire house (and utilities) in this part of the USA.

    Dan East
  • by xENoLocO ( 773565 ) * on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:22AM (#16276419) Homepage
    ... but is it really front page news?

    I mean, I congratulate the couple on their new house, but come on... :)
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:24AM (#16276445)
    OK, in the past few weeks we've learned that Google's founders got into a catfight over a luxury airplane, let their employees do whatever the fuck they want during work hours (Wizards of the Coast style?) and are concentrating on cementing their "early" history. I'm not a shareholder, but if I was, I'd clicking the "Sell" button as fast and often as I could...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It sounds like you are not a shareholder, and probably would not have shares in Google, therefore it is not surprising to hear that you would say sell sell sell.

      It is so easy to say things when you have no stake in it at all.

      Even me.
      • I'd go so far as to say that the GP poster's inability to "sell sell sell" reflects inexperience in the stock market (in that he's not playing it at all). In other words, he's just making shit up about it. I'm certain when he heard they don't have to wear suits he was also pretty perturbed, because don't all successfull businesses have their employees wear suits? But luckily there were on-the-ball moderators to rate his garbage exposition up as insightful.
        • he's just making shit up about it

          Look it up, Wookie. Hell, even Slashdot's been covering the wacky shit that goes on at Google, and they're Google's biggest cheerleader.

          I'm certain when he heard they don't have to wear suits he was also pretty perturbed

          Poor assumptions like that are probably why you're not where you'd like to be in life. "No suits" is pretty common in the corporate world these days; it's the general "no leadership, no goals" culture at Google that scares me (and reminds me of the late

          • by flooey ( 695860 )
            it's the general "no leadership, no goals" culture at Google that scares me (and reminds me of the late 1990s dot-com businesses).

            The thing is, that's been Google's culture all along, pretty much. And in 2005 they had a net income of $2.1 billion before taxes on $6.1 billion in revenue. It seems to be working just fine for them.
          • The "no leadership, no goals" reputation of Google is just a combination of PR hype, dot-com crash post-traumatic stress, and lack of investor and media knowledge about what Google's long term goals really are. You don't make a $6 billion dollar/yr. corporation that's lasted for almost a decade without being able to plan for the future. All investors and the media really know is that Google keeps getting results. This is a company that focuses on the long-term and the big picture, plays their cards close
    • Google's share price has already adjusted to account for those new developments.

      All corporations' share prices already have adjusted to account for all public knowledge about them.
      • All corporations' share prices already have adjusted to account for all public knowledge about them.
        I'm sure you know the process isn't magic or perfect. You see one odd piece of news and you can say "eccentric management" or "outlier". You see many odd pieces and you tend to think "management may not know what they're doing". I'm starting to think that we're looking at the latter case. If/when the rest of the market agrees with me the price will drop significantly.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Rude Turnip ( 49495 )
          I just follow the earnings. If they keep making money, then whatever they're doing is working.
          • Like Enron? (Score:3, Interesting)

            I just follow the earnings. If they keep making money, then whatever they're doing is working.
            Like Enron? Like WorldCom? Books can be cooked; it's even fairly legal to do so over the short term. That's why analysts are always looking for other signs of health in a business.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:26AM (#16276489)
    "owned by a friend of one of Brin's girlfriends"

    Must be nice to have billions and multiple girlfriends.
    • I think with billions, you get multiple girlfriends. Kind of like a side order. At least, a lot of the rich guys I know have girlfriends on the side...
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Red15 ( 842440 )
      Perhaps he has a googol girlfriends :)
    • by imikem ( 767509 )
      With their rarified geek status, at least one girlfriend may not be of the inflatable variety.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by CCFreak2K ( 930973 )
      Well screw you guys! I'm gonna go make my own garage! With blackjack! And hookers!
  • by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:31AM (#16276549) Homepage
    $1700 seems steep, even for today's standards.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by blincoln ( 592401 )
      $1700 seems steep, even for today's standards.

      It's actually not, for that area.

      I have some friends who work down there (not at Google, but the same area). They took me on a tour of it when I visited a few years ago. We walked by some small houses (looked like 2-3BR, single-car garage type of places) near where their office is, and they said every one of them was valued at over a million dollars.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      "$1700 seems steep, even for today's standards."

      The simple explanation is that a.) It was being used for business and b.) They were being generous to help out a friend.

      I did a quick search of office space rentals in Cali and a 500 sq. ft. space was roughly $1,750. They might have been getting a deal. (Hot tub, etc...) I didn't actually search in the area that they were in (all those stupid sites require registration.) so really my suggestion is merely a theory.

  • by mooingyak ( 720677 ) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:32AM (#16276557)
    the original Googleplex is intended to be preserved as part of the companies living history.

    'So often you 'see the here come's an S u'sage of apo'strophe's, but heres one ca'se where it actually belong's and wa's not u'sed.

    Grumble grumble grammar nazi blah blah.
  • Woo, always cool when big companies remember their roots. But, and with flame-proof suit on...Google may be huge but they're only one company. So in the intro text:

    the original Googleplex is intended to be preserved as part of the companies living history.

    That "companies" should be "company's" - more info on this common grammar mistake at the Apostrophe Protection Society []. Arguably a nitpick I know, but on something as well-read as Slashdot it's nice to try and set an example :)

    • I take full responsibility for the poor spelling.

      You are now free to stone me to death. :)

    • Companies/company's I can live with. Misuse of loose/lose is the one that bugs the hell out of most people here.
      • Companies/company's I can live with. Misuse of loose/lose is the one that bugs the hell out of most people here.

        Their Their, don't be too hard on them, I've seen worse...
  • Preserved? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:36AM (#16276617) Homepage Journal
    the original Googleplex is intended to be preserved as part of the companies living history.
    So is this going to be a Graceland type of deal? How soon can we make pilgrimages to the historic garage, walk through the sacred Jungle Room, gaze upon Serge and Brin's actual preserved empty chip packets, discarded pizza boxes, broken ethernet cards, and sequinned jumpsuits? Will there be velvet paintings at the gift shop?
  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:40AM (#16276665) Homepage
    8 years of Google might seem like a long time, but remember that development of Duke Nukem Forever was started before Google even existed, so it's not that long.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:42AM (#16276703)
    Isn't it Sergey Brin and Larry Paige?
  • by CPE1704TKS ( 995414 ) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:44AM (#16276719)
    I love Google as much as anyone else, but talk about utterly self-indulgent. Yes, they are cool, but they are no HP, not yet anyway. Once they get to 20 years old and contributed as much as HP has over the decades, THEN start worrying about keeping track of your legacy. Right now, all they are is a great search engine, great mail service, and bunch of free (but cool) software like Picasa. They are cool and convenient, but I would hardly describe Google's contributions as important or essential... not yet. If they disappeared overnight, people would be a bit pissed, but every single one of their contributions could be replaced by another service.
    • Yeah, people used to say the same thing about Alta Vista, and look how wrong they were!
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Google pioneered the most important advancement in the history of internet search engines: A clean search page.

      Visit and you get a large well centered box into which you can type your search criteria. A fairly small Google logo, a handful of text only links to other parts of the site. No news snippets, no ads, no headlines from around the world. I don't have to sort out which box searches the internet and which is the stock quote lookup. I do not have to sort through a long gaphical menu to find
      • by be-fan ( 61476 )
        Interestingly enough, its also the only search engine in existence easy enough for my mom to use. With all the other ones, she doesn't know where to type her query.
        • [] - yeah, I can see why she'd have trouble finding that. (And for the anally retentive, that is the autoredirect when you go to (for one), before you start complaining about the QUERYSTRING).
          • by be-fan ( 61476 )
            This must be new? I've never heard of it before. Internet Explorer defaults to, does't it?

            Oh, and its a blatent Google rip-off. The layout is the same, and the section headers are even in the same order! Not to mention it commits the criminal sin of having an unlabeled search icon. New computer users can read. What they can't do is decipher tiny, low-contrast icons.

            So its late, derivative, and not as good. What's your point?
      • Actually there were plenty of search engines like that before Google, and there will be many long after Google collapses. If having a box in the middle of the screen is Google's greatest innovation, then I doubt they will be remembered when they're gone.
    • When their wealth is sufficient to make buying that building trivial, why shouldn't they indulge themselves?
      There is a difference of scale here, but it gives humans pleasure to indulge now and then. I might buy a faster computer
      that I need to do work, they might buy a building or several. In proportion to income, my PC is a far greater indulgence.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by archen ( 447353 )
      Once they get to 20 years old

      What google will contribute is probably going to be arguable even 20 years down the road. However it doesn't take long for your legacy to erase itself by sheer chance. Twenty years from now google may look for that old garage only to find it had become a parking lot 5 years earlier. I sort of realized how easily history can be lost when I was looking through a Fender guitar magazine. They had wanted to produce an authentic reproduction of origonal Fender models, however n
    • And they didn't even develop Picasa; they bought it. Their other software, like Orkut or Google Talk, is forgettable.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:50AM (#16276843)
    Not to be outdone, Microsoft has purchased the back seat of the '62 Camaro where Bill Gates' mother was knocked up by satan.
  • "We plan to preserve the property as a part of our living legacy", says Google spokesman Jon Murchinson.

    I have a feeling the house is about to get a makeover...

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  • by Dystopian Rebel ( 714995 ) on Monday October 02, 2006 @10:55AM (#16276911) Journal
    Although a growing percentage of the Slashdot demographic considers under-car light-effects and to be good investments, the more experienced Slashdot visitors know a good potential for return when they see it.

    Slashdot Investments Inc is bullish on California garages. That's right, we are marking this a strong BUY. Analysts agree that all creativity has either been crushed out of US corporations by bureaucracy or simply shipped to Bangalore to learn some manners.

    The future of US creativity is clearly back where HP, Apple, Sun, Microsoft and Occidental Petroleum started: back among the old tires, oil stains, ham radios and bicycle parts.

    Why, even the iPod was discovered in a California garage 10 years ago by a guy who was dosed with Klum-Sharapova Rays while trying to convert a personal massage device into a remote control for his Blaupunkt.

    Forget California houses, they have weird things in them like Wozniak's Cave. The real potential is back in the Camaro Cradle... the Beemer Bedroom... in short, in the Tranny House!

    Now's the time to get in on the ground floor of California garages! Call now, Vista and MemoryCard accepted.

    Until next month... Happy profits!
  • by a friend of one of Brin's girlfriends.
    Man, how many girlfriends does Brin have?
  • $1700 a month!?!

    Please remember that's

    a.) nearly 10 years ago and
    b.) rented from a friend (therefore probably a lot less than the market price)

    So I got to assume that if you don't have 12k a months _at least_ you're a pretty poor guy in Menlo Park?

    Remember that kids, next time you read job offerings from california...
  • Last I checked, it was either Page and Brin or Larry and Sergey. Poor Larry never gets no respect.
  • Brin had a girlfriend... AND he made a billion dollar company? I think I've finally found proof that there's a heaven on earth!!!
  • Waste (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pupstah ( 78267 )
    Another case of companies with too much money, and no idea what to do with it. Yet the same Slashdot nubsacks that bitch when Microsoft wastes money, will cheer this.

    Two faced, party of 20,000, your table is ready?
  • Hope this isn't a jinx. See what happened to the last company that preserved its garage: / []
  • Here is the Google map [] of the infamous garage. I had to look up Sue's address in a non-Google database ( because I couldnt find it in Google.

    Then I looked in the realtors database for best estimated market value, again not Google, but
  • ...but when I read this story, it was all I could do to stifle a yawn.

    The garage of Mssrs. Hewlett and Packard was designated a California Historic Landmark because it symbolized the birth of Silicon Valley.

    Here I only see two pretentious punks "giving themselves a birthday present." What's their garage supposed to represent, I'm wondering? Today's Silicon Valley hubris?

    Even Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, whose company's genesis also took place in a garage, didn't engage in this kind of masturbatory pursuit.
  • The original AP story [] (which includes a picture) noted:

    Google asked The Associated Press not to publish the property's address, although it can easily be found on the Internet using the company's search engine.

    But I have been Googling for the last half hour to no avail. It's not that I care so much for the exact address as much as I'm offended that some AP reporter is apparently a better Googler than me :). Can any of the Google hot-shots here find it?

  • Maybe even living in the housing cost capital of the nation, the Northeast, I don't have a firm grip on real estate prices. Here, in the city, $1,700 per month will get you either a luxury apartment, a plush office apartment, or perhaps even a house rental. $1,700 mortgage = house. So why would anyone in 1998, years before the housing bubble, be paying $1,700 per month for just a garage? That's $20,400 per year, well over half of the nation's average income. Apparently, Google's spendthrift ways starte

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser