Should I Rent or Buy a House?


Before making the plunge into homebuying, are you ready to make the huge financial jump?  Consider these three factors.

1.  Downpayment.  At least 20% is the preferred lump sum that you need to satisfy creditors in order to approve a traditional 30 year mortgage plan.  Its not easy to come up with $100,000.  But, if you plan ahead and create a monthly savings plan, you can reach this pivotal financial benchmark that allows you to finally throw your weekend barbecues in your new backyard.  You may already be ahead of the curve, and through your diligence you’ve secured a sizable pot for a one time spending that will change your life, but you’re still on the fence.  In that case, it is in your best interest to keep saving, which I think will always be your best option for the rest of your financial life.

2.  Monthly mortgage payments.  This is where the real tradeoff between buying and renting happens.  Think about all the monthly rent that you pay that goes down the drain without any additional benefit then the month of living that it affords you.   Monthly mortgage payments increases your equity in your property which you keep forever. Furthermore, having the ability to grow your equity gives you some flexibility as well.  For example, the ability to re-finance your mortgage in order to get cash to be used on a future down payment for a second property such as an investment property, is a great option for homeowners to have.  While you can assume these are advantages, there are inherent risks associated with financial pitfalls that can damage the borrower and creditor.  Nevertheless, you must prove to a lender that you can pay off your loan balance, such as gainful employment measured by security and income, high credit score ratings, and anything else thats income related thats boosts the lenders’ confidence.

3.  Additional expenses.  Insurance, HOA, Property tax, and regular maintenance piles up.  As a homeowner, you essentially are responsible for your property, and which requires preparedness to protect the value of your investment.  All the work you do to upkeep your house is entirely hands on, whether you do it yourself or if you choose to outsource it, you as the owner bear all the responsibility.


For some people with rewarding jobs, buying a house at the right time could be the next logical step.  But for others who are in limbo may need to examine things more carefully.  Perhaps what’s really holding someone back from buying a home is the lack of commitment.  After all, every lease contract expires, while at the same time making any kind of sacrifice to a buy a house may not be the most important thing on your mind until the time is right.  As we see home prices sky rocketing, and trying to figure out how much down payment you need to realistically afford a house, it can be a turn off.  But then again, at some point in whatever life stage you’re in, it might make sense to stop seeing your hard earned money go to waste.  To pursue financial dreams, it does take disciplining, especially when it comes to saving.  So, while it may not make sense now, you could be well on your way 3 or 5 years down the road when things look upwardly.




Neighborhood Spotlight: Larchmont

Walk the Main Street in historical Larchmont Village and you would not be surprised to find the best ice cream in town.   This quaint neighborhood is nestled in a bustling city that Angelenos brag for its movie making spotlight, upscale shopping, and endless pool of culinary delights.  Larchmont seemingly allows its residents to kick back into LA’s refreshing climate on an ordinary midday and enjoy the luxuries offered to you which you can find all in close walking proximity.  While larchmont serves as the shopping district to Hancock Park and Windsor Square neighborhoods, and nearby Paramount studios, the well preserved nature and style of homes maintains its prominence for luxury homes.  (Marvin J. Lee)


Expert insight:  Serge Tran, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Larchmont, said home buyers gravitate to the neighborhood for its central location, easy access to the 101 and the 10 freeways, and for the friendly small-town vibe that is most readily seen at the weekly farmers market on Sundays.“It’s not a tourist attraction like the Hollywood one,” he said, “but one where neighbors go to as part of their weekly routine.”

Larchmont also boasts a “great diversity of housing stock,” with options from entry-level condominiums and town houses to large homes. Although some of the single-family homes are expensive, prices tend to go down the farther east you go, particularly east of Van Ness, he said.  (Scott Garner│LA Times)


Report card:  Within the boundaries of Larchmont is Van Ness Avenue Elementary and Frances Blend Special Education Center, which scored 848 and 869, respectively, out of 1,000 in the 2013 Academic Performance Index.  Nearby schools include Harvard Elementary, which had a score of 829, and Hubert Howe Bancroft Middle, which scored 764. Helen Bernstein High scored 634. (Scott Garner│LA Times)

Read the Article: LA Times

This is a classical example of a family style home that can be in Windsor Square.  A 4 bed, 4 baths, 3,524sqft, listed for $3,500,000.  Complete listing here

Where do you eat if you are tired of eating Korean food in Ktown?

Koreatown’s growing popularity amongst new comers has sparked a growth in its culinary diversity that stretches beyond its staple of KBBQs, spicy tofu soup, late night porridges and stews; and now spreading its flavor profile into outer worldly fusions, as well as highly cherished shellfishes, and your typical breakfast or brunch benedicts.  Being a resident in this neighborhood affords you the advantage of divulging into Ktown’s well established eatery scene, may it be for the adventurous seekers or those who enjoy their routine KBBQ hopping from block to block as they seem to never cease to appear.  (Marvin J. Lee)

◦ Here’s looking At You 

herslookingatyou_froiegras      (Froie Gras / by Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

This restaurant has a stand out location on the familiar busy 6th street,  corner of 6th and South Oxford Avenue.  On a jewell of a night, you’ve decided that Korean BBQ and kimchi wont quite cut it.  Dinner for two, which protein do you pick that shows off your flare; Beef Tartare, Foie Gras Terrine, or Duck Breast? (Marvin J. Lee)

Food type: Fusion to the extreme.

Read the article: LA Times

✉️ 3901 W. 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90020
📞 (213) 568-3537

◦ Commisary ◦

                                                                                                                                                     (Photos via Yelp)

This is the final piece to Roy Choi‘s commanding presence at the heart of the largest Korean enclave in America. And it’s a cool show. Housed inside a massive greenhouse on the rooftop deck of the hotel, Commissary focuses on vegetables, which means grilled corn, asparagus, and salads galore. It’s a fancy schmancy country club pool, right smack in K-Town.

Food Type: America

Read the article: Eater LA

✉️ 3515 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
📞 (213) 368-3030

◦ Horse’s Mouth 

                                                                                                                                                     (Photos via Yelp)

So what exactly can one expect? A raw bar for starters, plus mains like soft shell crab, a lobster roll, and lobster bucatini pasta. Beyond the ocean you’ll find beef carpaccio, duck pancakes, a burger, and more.

Food Type:  Seafood

Read the Article:  Eater LA

✉️ 528 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90020
📞 (213) 394-0564q