in southern california, especially in those places without rent control, the difference between renting and buying in negligible.(for a 2/2 condo($170K), renting is $1200, buying is $1500 per month. the difference is about $300, including property tax, PMI, HOA fees and excluding the tax benefit. so after tax benefit, its about the same.)rents are increasing about 5-10% a year, and property values about 10-20%. so renting will always be cheaper than buying. but the question is, with salaries not keeping pace, will you be able to afford even to rent in a few years???we can see the prices in the bay area have forced people to be renters since a majority of them can't afford $300,000 for a 2/2 condo. will this same phenomenon affect southern california or the rest of the country as well?? it might. my advice is get in while you can. world population is rising. there's only so much land... especially in california!
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