Should I Buy a Home in Los Angeles or Should I Continue Renting?

Home ownership was once the goal of most people starting out in their adult life. If you can do it,  it is still one of the best investments you can make and brings with it the security and stability of owning your own home and not having to cater to the whims of your landlord, not to mention paying their mortgage. Every penny you pay towards your rent over the years is gone forever. So the question of whether to continue renting hangs over many a renter’s head.

Should I buy or should I rent?

Sometimes it just does not make sense to buy. In areas with skyrocketing house prices, like Los Angeles, buying is no longer affordable for the average worker. If a prospective buyer can actually come up with the downpayment, which many cannot, not to mention the ability to qualify for a loan, they will need to take a look at the payments involved in the purchase. This is often an amount they are not comfortable coming up with on a monthly basis. Included in the payments will be the principal, interest, property taxes, and insurance (PITI), and if a condo is involved, homeowners dues need to be added to those payments. Yes, a portion of these payments is tax deductible, but you still have to come up with the money every month. The expression “house poor” applies here. No one wants to be a slave to house payments. What is going to happen to those annual vacations? Can you afford to buy a new car? Owning a home can sometimes be an anchor.

Another overlooked expense of home ownership is the actual upkeep of the home. You cannot call the landlord if something breaks, and in the case of a house some of these expenses can be large. What happens if you need a new roof or the sewer line needs replacing? There is a lot of responsibility involved in owning a home.
You cannot easily walk away from a home you own if you fall on hard times, so anyone contemplating buying a home needs to sit down with a lender and possibly an accountant to see what makes most sense financially. If you can make the leap without hardship, then owning is always going to be the best option.Nowadays renting is not discouraged as it once was and may be your only option.

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