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Should You Buy or Rent in Los Angeles?

Moving to Los Angeles? If you’re ready to relocate but aren’t sure whether it’s better to buy or rent a home in LA, start by asking yourself these questions:

  • How well do you know the LA area?
  • How long do you plan to live in The City of Angels?
  • What part of LA do you want to live in?
  • Can you afford to buy a home in your neighborhood of choice?

Now that you’ve thought about these questions, you’re ready to begin your search! Explore the pros and cons of buying vs. renting a home in Los Angeles below!

Jump to: Best Places to Buy a Home in Los Angeles | Best Places to Rent a Home in Los Angeles

Reasons to Buy in Los Angeles

Homeownership is a major financial and personal commitment, but it’s well worth it for those who are ready to plant roots. Here are just a few of the benefits of buying a home in Los Angeles.

Smart Investment

With some of the best views in California, diverse and heavily-populated Los Angeles is one of the best cities in the U.S. Partially driven by its billion-dollar entertainment industry, The City of Angels also has plenty of opportunities for anyone. Residents reap the benefits of the city’s high appreciation rates. And over the years, Los Angeles property values have consistently grown, increasing by nearly 2.5% during the past year. With a higher bottom line, even after paying capital gains tax, this extra profit could assist you in buying another home in the future. Even if you choose not to sell, equity has a variety of other practical uses.

Tax Benefits

While buying Los Angeles real estate can be more expensive than renting, there are several tax benefits available to Angeltown residents that help with the costs. The Mortgage Credit Certificate allows first-time California homeowners a tax credit of up to 20% of the annual interest paid on their loan. Those living in LA can also apply for a Homeowners’ Exemption, which can take up to $7,000 off an assessed property value. And, if you ever decide to put your home on the Los Angeles housing market, you can apply for a capital gains tax exemption—for singles, this excludes up to $250,000 on federal income taxes, and up to $500,000 for married couples.

More Stability

Purchasing your own home is a long-term decision, so if you’re moving to Los Angeles permanently, homeownership may be the right move. From establishing yourself in a community to building long-term social connections and beyond, buying a home offers a strong sense of stability. There are so many different communities in LA, each with distinct cultures and lifestyles, and finding your niche within one as a homeowner can be very rewarding!

Home-Sharing Ability

California’s Home-Sharing Ordinance allows homeowners to rent out a portion of their homes to short-term renters, which can help with mortgage costs. Especially for those who plan on living in a more expensive area of the city, house-sharing is a convenient way to alleviate the cost of homeownership without having to opt for a rental. And like any landlord, homeowners who share their property with a renter still retain all rights associated with being the title-holder.

Control Over Your Space

By buying a home in Los Angeles, you can say goodbye to leases and the restrictions that come with them. Whether it’s something as small as changing paint colors to making space-saving home renovations, homeowners are entitled to alter their property however they choose. Plus, if you want to move into a new house with your family, it may be worth it to buy a house for the additional space it can provide.

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Best Places to Buy a Home in LA

Below are the Los Angeles neighborhoods and suburbs you should check out if you’re interested in buying a home in LA!

  • Brentwood
  • Mar Vista
  • Pasadena
  • Playa Del Rey


    • Home Price: $1,628,579 median purchase price
    • Crime Rate: Safer than 87% of California cities

Brentwood is a beautiful, safe place to live for those looking to buy at the higher end of LA’s real estate market. Buying a home in this popular West Los Angeles neighborhood—just across the 405 and University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA)—is definitely a worthwhile investment. Residents are close to great shops, art galleries, and restaurants, as well as amazing schools like Brentwood Science Magnet. Brentwood homes range from sleek, Modern condos to traditional Craftsman single-family homes—plus, you can even find charming bungalows throughout the area! Quiet and well-manicured, Brentwood is truly a fantastic choice if you’re moving to Los Angeles in search of your forever home.

Mar Vista

A view of the front door of a Mars vista home. @thenoelteam

Photo via @thenoelteam

  • Home Price: $797,290 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 80% of California cities

On the lookout for safe neighborhoods in Los Angeles? In Mar Vista, you can find Mid-Century Modern ranches or Spanish Revival homes near quality schools like Mar Vista Elementary School and Windward School. Families can take advantage of the fun offered at local green spaces like Clover Park and Marine Park, in addition to enrolling in kids sports teams, camps and after-school clubs, and more at Penmar Recreation Center. Plus, with opportunities to explore the neighborhood and local businesses through regular events like the Mar Vista Music and Art Walk and Mar Vista Farmers Market, LA residents can find community and entertainment. With a low crime rate and a variety of things to do, you won’t regret investing in Mar Vista real estate.


A view of the front door of a Pasadena home. @markandalteam

Photo via @markandalteam

  • Home Price: $649,800 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 48% of California cities

If you’re interested in a modern urban city culture with plenty of things to do, consider Pasadena. Pasadena real estate features a variety of home styles like Craftsman, Spanish Colonial, Tudor, and more. This Los Angeles neighborhood has plenty of charm to offer residents—including popular local boutiques in historic Pasadena like April Blooms, The Dog Bakery, and Vroman’s Bookstore. If you’re looking for top-notch higher education, you’ll have institutions like CalTech, Pasadena City College, and the ArtCenter College of Design close by. Plus, due to the neighborhood’s proximity to the famous Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena is known for the breathtaking, annual parade the Tournament of Roses, which you can enjoy with other LA residents.

Playa Del Rey

Modern house in Playa Del Rey for sale. Photo by Instagram user @brandonvphoto.

Photo via @brandonvphoto

  • Home Price: $873,850 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 80% of California cities

What better way to get the SoCal experience than by living near the water? Check out gorgeous Playa del Rey, another of Los Angeles’ best neighborhoods for home buyers! You’ll find homes at all price points in a variety of styles, including Craftsman ranches and Modern homes. In addition to the sand volleyball games and surfing at Playa Del Rey Beach, residents of this neighborhood are right across from the calm shores of Marina Beach, where you can paddleboard, go boating, and more! In addition to hitting the beach in this stunning LA neighborhood—residents love the fresh seafood at top local restaurants, shopping at waterfront boutiques, and hitting up the local nightlife.

Reasons to Rent in Los Angeles

There are a number of upsides to renting a home in LA—like greater affordability, being able to move around, and having fewer maintenance responsibilities. Check out the other benefits of renting in the Los Angeles area.

Flexibility to Move

Unless you’ve been living in Los Angeles for a while and are familiar with the different neighborhoods and suburbs, you might not know where you’d like to end up. As a renter, you have the freedom to move around more often and explore all of LA’s hidden gems. Choosing to rent a home in Los Angeles also means more flexibility to move to an apartment in the future, which can be easier than having to downsize to a smaller house. Similarly, buying and selling a home in Los Angeles can be more time-consuming and expensive compared to breaking a lease to move into a new rental property.

Less Expensive

Especially in Los Angeles, where home prices are about three times higher than the national average and nearly 75% of the average homeowner’s paycheck goes toward mortgage payments—renting is significantly less expensive. LA property values have gone up for 12 consecutive years, and homeowners have an ever-increasing tax bill on their hands. These rising costs are part of the reason the majority of people living in LA are renters. Other homeownership expenses that renters in LA don’t have to worry about include loan origination fees, broker fees, escrow fees, and more!

Maintenance & Repairs Are Included

As a renter, it often falls on your landlord or rental management company to deal with apartment maintenance and repairs—not you. This is convenient and will save you money you’d otherwise be paying out-of-pocket to fix things in a Los Angeles house. No matter if it’s something as small as a leaky sink or as major as a roof replacement, it’s your landlord’s responsibility to handle it on your behalf.

Access to Great Amenities

If you rent a condo or an apartment in Los Angeles, you may also have access to free amenities like a clubhouse, gym, pool, and more. Not only does having on-site amenities eliminate the need for paid memberships at community centers or gyms, but it also means you won’t deal with the Los Angeles traffic every time you want to work out. While not guaranteed with every option, many rental properties do offer certain perks for their residents.

Best Places to Rent a Home in LA

Below are the Los Angeles neighborhoods you should check out if you’re interested in renting a home!

  • Echo Park
  • Mid-Wilshire
  • Silver Lake
  • Westwood

Echo Park

Contemporary apartments in Echo Park, LA. Photo by Instagram user @facadesplus.

Photo via @facadesplus

  • Home Price: $1,241 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 38% of California cities

Echo Park is a fast-growing hub for art lovers moving to Los Angeles in search of the thriving entertainment and culture scene the city is known for. This chic neighborhood has a wide selection of affordable rental properties, boutiques, several top-notch restaurants, and plenty of art. Sports fans interested in renting a home in Los Angeles will also love the neighborhood, as Echo Park is home to Dodger Stadium. Residents of this area can spend their days hiking, picnicking, or just enjoying the California sunshine at Los Angeles’ oldest and second-largest park, Elysian Park. Paddle boat across Echo Park Lake, or get your shopping fix at unique LA boutiques like the Time Travel Mart. This neighborhood is conveniently located just north of Downtown LA, and has easy access to the interstate and several major roads. Residents can utilize fantastic LA public transportation options like the Metro Bus and Metrolink trains.


A view of the backyard of a Mid-Wilshire home. @tiaoproperties

Photo via @tiaoproperties

  • Home Price: $1,221 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 31% of California cities

Next door to popular Koreatown is Mid-Wilshire, known for Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile! This one-and-a-half-mile strip between La Brea and Fairfax Avenues offers trendy shops and foodie-approved restaurants. This neighborhood has a section of the city’s famed Museum Row, as well as other fascinating stops like the Petersen Automotive Museum! Mid-Wilshire is also part of the Slow Streets initiative, which makes roadways safer for pedestrians, particularly children. In addition, Mid-Wilshire has several great schools, like Larchmont Charter School and WISH Community School. Popular property styles in Mid-Wilshire include Spanish Revival single-family homes and towering apartment buildings.

Silver Lake

A view of an apartment complex in Silver Lake. @findyourvive

Photo via @findyourvive

  • Home Price: $1,380 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 58% of California cities

Calling all hipsters—find a variety of Mid-Century Modern houses, spacious ranches, and apartments in Silver Lake, one of the best places to rent a home in LA! Situated between Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles, Silver Lake is near urban fun yet still provides residents with scenic walking trails, dog parks, historical secret stairs, and more near namesake Silver Lake Reservoir. Plus, this LA neighborhood provides plenty of recreational opportunities like playgrounds, basketball, soccer, and more at the Silver Lake Recreation Center. Despite feeling like a modern paradise, this historic LA neighborhood is also rich with LGBTQ history, being home to the Black Cat Tavern—the site for the first-ever recognized LGBTQ civil rights demonstration in the U.S.


A view of the front door and yard of a Westwoodhome. @shiliangroup

Photo via @shiliangroup

On the lookout for a Los Angeles rental property? The Westwood neighborhood is a growing commercial and residential district, close to popular areas like Beverly Hills and Century City—and a perfect place to rent a home. As home to the prestigious University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), college-aged students and young professionals often flock to Westwood’s youthful energy. Residents can find plenty of things to do in Westwood Village, as well as community every Thursday at the Westwood Village Farmer’s Market. And with the Metro’s Purple line expansion, renters in Westwood can easily visit the Hammer Museum, catch a live performance at the Geffen Playhouse, or kick back for a movie at the Regency Bruin Theatre.


Whether you buy or rent a home in Los Angeles, Extra Space Storage has convenient self storage options throughout the LA metro that can help with your transition. Find Los Angeles storage units near you!

Neighborhood and suburb statistics from AreaVibes

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