Los Angeles is a great city to call home. There is always the chance you may run into someone famous here, but that’s not all the City of Angels has to offer.
You can find shopping, restaurants, and attractions in every L.A. neighborhood, along with many properties you can call home.
Are you thinking about making a move to Los Angeles and want to rent instead of buying? Before you finalize your move, it’s a good idea to know the advantages and disadvantages of renting vs. buying, as well as understand the average rent costs in Los Angeles.
Renting vs. Buying in Los Angeles
There are advantages and downsides to renting either an apartment or a home. Ultimately, what is best for you and your family should determine which path you take, but here are a few items that may help your decision:
Advantages to LA Apartment Living:
- Amenities: You often have more amenities in an apartment complex. You may have an on-site pool, gym, or community center where you can work remotely or host events.
- Property Management: Many also have an on-site property manager to handle any problems you encounter with the unit. It does save you money in the short term, but you are still paying for it in one way or another in your rent.
- Less Maintenance: Many apartments take care of greenspace and landscaping. However, keep in mind that some apartments and rental houses expect you to do some of the regular maintenance yourself. It’s something to consider if you aren’t fond of yard work or general property upkeep.
- Temporary: If you’re not ready to commit to an area, an apartment can be a good start. The only thing tying you to the space is the lease. Most leases, in general, run for at least six months, and the majority require you to stay for one year. If you aren’t ready to call one neighborhood home, renting may be a good option.
- Utilities: If you’re lucky, you can find an apartment complex that pays your utilities for you (but keep in mind, the monthly rate will probably be more than average to offset this)
Disadvantages to LA Apartment Living:
- No Privacy: A negative to living in an apartment in LA is the lack of privacy. Not only do you usually have shared greenspace (if you have any at all), but the walls are also often thin between units. You’ll need to be prepared to hear what’s going on next door or above you – and they’ll likely hear you as well.
- Rules And Regulations: Most apartment complexes also have strict rules that tenants are expected to follow. For example, you may be limited on the number of guests you can have.
- You Have No Ability To Change Things: Many people love the idea of customizing their homes to fit their design tastes, whether it be painting, new cabinets, changing the flooring, or even building additions or removing walls to open the floorplan. More than likely, this will not be allowed in a rented space, and if it is, you lose the money you paid for it upon move-out.
- Additional Fees: Since LA is a busy area, many apartment complexes will charge an additional fee for parking. This is something to keep in mind when figuring your budget.
- No Equity: This is a huge disadvantage. With apartments, you’ll pay monthly but never gain any equity in your home. If you own the home, you can often sell the home for more than your purchase price, giving you the capital you need when you are ready to move to another Los Angeles neighborhood.
But what about in a rental home that isn’t an apartment complex? You’ll undoubtedly have more freedom and space in a whole house. Most have yards, and many allow pets. You will, however, pay more for a place, but it may be worth it if you value privacy.
What is the Average Rent in Los Angeles, California?
California is an expensive state to rent a home, apartment, or room. Demand for rentals is at an all-time high as millennials, who are at “moving” age, make up nearly 22% of the population.
The first half of 2021 saw the average rent in California increase by 9.2%. It is almost triple the rates before the global pandemic, and the cost for a rental unit is predicted to continue to increase.
When it comes to the average rent in L.A., prices are significantly higher than in most other major U.S. cities. The median rent is up 3.9% in Los Angeles since January 2021. In some Los Angeles neighborhoods, you can expect to pay upwards of $1,000 more in rental fees than with the rest of California.
Average Rent by L.A. Neighborhood
As you’re planning your move to a Los Angeles rental property, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods. Rental prices vary from somewhat affordable to over $5,000 a month for an average two-bedroom space.
Whether you are looking at rooms for rent in Hollywood or University Park, you should expect to pay more for the lease than you would for a mortgage payment.
Hollywood is the most popular rental neighborhood, and surprisingly it is not the most expensive. Rent for a 791 sq. ft. apartment averages between $2,000 and $3,000. Koreatown is another popular place to live, and rent is a little lower than in other neighborhoods, averaging about $2,100 for a one-bedroom apartment. Vermont Vista and Arlington Heights are other affordable areas by L.A. standards.
If you want a more exclusive address and don’t mind paying more in rent, look for a place in University Park, North of Montana, or the Historic South-Central neighborhood. The average rent is over $4,000, but living in one of these areas may be worth it.
When you are paying over $2,000 a month, you expect at least one bedroom. Unfortunately, it depends on which neighborhood you call home. If you want to live in West Los Angeles, you’ll need nearly $3,000 a month to pay for a studio apartment. The average rent for a two-bedroom unit in Beverly Hills is over $5,000. A one-bedroom place is close to $3,000. If you want to live in this neighborhood, the better consideration may be purchasing a home.
You can find homes with mortgages at or below monthly rental costs. Not only do you get more space, but you are also saving money with the investment since you’ll gain equity that can turn into cash in your pocket later.
You won’t have any problems finding rooms or apartments for rent in Los Angeles. It is a large, thriving city with several neighborhoods offering spaces at all price points.
When you’re hunting for living space and comparing the average rent in Los Angeles, consider looking at purchasing a home. There are advantages to homeownership you may not be aware of. Contact us today to help you with your LA property search and discuss if renting or buying is the better choice for you!