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Buy or rent? 10 major cities

Deciding whether to buy or rent? Here's how the math plays out for some of the nation's biggest cities, according to real estate site Trulia.

Los Angeles

los angeles buy or rent cities gallery
  • Buy or rent?: Buy
  • After 3 years: Buyers save 3%

The buy or rent debate in Los Angeles is a closer call than in most major markets. Buyers who stay in their homes three years have a negligible savings advantage over renters, according to Trulia.

A lot has to do with where they live. Home prices vary greatly around the Los Angeles metro area with values on the fashionable Westside -- including pricey Santa Monica, Brentwood and Beverly Hills -- as much as four of five times those of less in-demand, inland areas.

Like all other markets, the payoff for buyers becomes more pronounced with time. After seven years, buyers will save 35% compared with renting, Trulia estimated.

Source: Trulia
Savings are based on a comparison of total housing costs for buyers and renters and include transactional cost, such as commissions, taxes, appreciation and opportunity costs, like the potential returns of selling a home. The calculation assumes homeowners will put 20% down on a 3.5%, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, will itemize deductions and are in the 25% tax bracket.
  @CNNMoney - Last updated March 28 2013 12:23 PM ET

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