You can “break-even” by buying a home in most housing markets in 2 years, but not here in Southern California. A combination of healthy home value growth and low mortgage interest rates, combined with robust growth in rents, is helping to keep the buy vs. rent equation tilted heavily towards buying in most areas, but only for those planning on staying in their homes for longer than just a few years. Local markets vary, and that equation is shifting – if even slightly – in some notable areas. So, is now a good time to trade in your landlord for a new home? According to Skylar Olsen of Zillow it takes more than 2 years to break even if you live in Southern California. If you live in Los Angeles it will take 4.1 years; if you live in San Francisco it will take 2.9 years; if you live in San Diego it will take 3.4 years to break-even. Read More.