Renting vs Buying a Luxury Home in California

Renting vs Buying a Luxury Home in California

  • Sophia Perry
  • 11/22/21

The only certain thing in these uncertain times is California's luxury real estate rise. Due to the pandemic, many people realized having a home with lots of amenities is game-changing. And what better place to find this kind of home than California, right? That's why luxury homes have been in high demand since last year. The only dilemma here is whether to rent or buy. Since investing in real estate is a huge financial step for everybody, even the wealthiest, this dilemma is absolutely justified. Therefore, we carefully curated the list of all the pros and cons of renting vs. buying a luxury home in California so you can make an educated decision. Here is everything you need to know.

Renting vs. buying a luxury home in California

Our lives have drastically changed since the pandemic outbreak. We were all stuck in our homes for so long it made us re-examine everything about the place we live in. The bright side is that we are now aware of all the adjustments we need to make to live comfortably. Therefore, before you decide whether you want to rent or buy your new home in California, you have to understand all your wants and needs when it comes to luxury homes. If you're not sure in which direction you should go, the first thing you should do is ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you ready for a long-term commitment to one place? 
  • Is relocation for work in your future?
  • Are you ready to settle down, or are you still chasing adventures?
  • Do you want to create something brand new or move into your dream home right away?

This is the first step in solving the dilemma of renting vs. buying a luxury home in California you've been struggling with. 

You'll have to think about your expectations of a luxury home and then decide whether you want to buy it or rent it.
Alt-tag: A swimming pool in the yard of a luxury house.

Is renting a waste of money?

This question is as old as real estate itself. Many people are worried that renting will drain their bank accounts and that they won't have any benefits when it comes to their investments. While it is true that any money spent on rent is not a direct investment, it is critical to weigh this against the expenses of owning a property. This includes maintenance, taxes, insurance, furniture, etc. Additionally, it all depends on what you expect from the property. If you're new to this luxurious living, it's better to have a practice run with a rental and see what works for you rather than to invest right away. Therefore, renting a luxury home doesn't need to be a waste of money if you know your end goal.

Renting a luxury home in California

The financial aspect of renting vs. buying a luxury home in California is very different. The burning question is: Is it better to pay a mortgage or rent? According to luxury real estate trends, the median monthly rent for luxury villas in California is $50,000/month, and $4500/month for a luxury apartment. The average mortgage payment for a million-dollar home is $4500 a month. So, you'll have to give it some thought before going for one of the two options. Here are some factors you should include in the deciding process.

Think about your future plans before you decide to rent.


  • No maintenance costs: In California, the landlords are the ones who pay for regular maintenance and repair bills, not the tenants. So, while your rent may be above average, you'll get this for free.
  • Access to all amenities: Living in a luxurious home implies having many nice amenities such as an in-ground pool, fitness room, home theatre, etc. While this will cost you a fortune to install at your property, it comes free of charge in many luxurious apartment complexes throughout California. 
  • No down payment: Renting a home instead of buying it means you won't have a burden called a down payment on your shoulders. 
  • No taxes: Property taxes are a hefty financial strain for everybody, and they vary by the State and its Counties. Since California is above average in pretty much everything, we don't have to tell you what relief it is not having to pay for taxes. 
  • Fixed monthly payments: If you're renting a home, there will be no surprises with the monthly payments. This concerns both rent and utilities. 
  • Easier to relocate: The best thing about renting is you relocate whenever you feel like it; you're not strictly tied to one place.


  • Possibility of rent increase: In a turbulent real estate market, your rent may increase more quickly than you anticipated.
  • Relocation is inevitable: You can't stay in the rented home for too long; we all know renting is a short-term commitment.
  • No equity: Your rented house, regardless of how nice it is, will not help you build equity for your next luxury relocation.
  • Making compromises: Rental homes, as luxurious as they are, aren't personalized; they are made for the majority. So, you'll likely never find everything you want in one property and have to make some compromises.

Buying a luxury home in California 

California is known for its luxurious lifestyle. Therefore, finding a multimillion-dollar mansion won't be a problem. The real question here is, are you ready for this kind of investment? It's a substantial financial decision, so don't make this decision lightly. First, let's see all the pros and cons:

There are many benefits of buying a luxury home, but don't overlook the cons.


  • Low down payment: Surprisingly, the down payment homebuyers have to make in California is only 3% for first-time homebuyers and 5% for others. Additionally, there isn't any down payment on loans such as VA or USDA.
  • No closing costs: A seller's concessions or a lender's credit towards a homebuyer's closing expenses can be used to offset closing costs on a property purchase.
  • More decision-making power: If you have your own property, you're in charge of everything. You can finally build your dream home.
  • More stability: Owning a house is great stability most people seek. If you're looking to put down your roots, this is the right way to go. 
  • Excellent investment: Buying a luxury home has proven to be one of the best investments of the 21st century
  • Privacy: One of the best benefits of buying a luxurious property is the absolute privacy you'll have.


  • No flexibility: When it comes to flexibility and moving on, owning the home will not provide you with as much freedom as renting will.
  • More costs: Buying a property, and a luxurious one, comes with substantial monthly expenses. Make sure you learn about them before purchasing a house of this size. 
  • Renovation expenses: Whether you buy a regular house or a luxurious one, you'll have to do some renovating. Well, a luxurious home will require a little bit more money for a remodel. So, don't overlook those expenses.

Moving to your new luxury home 

After you make a decision about renting vs. buying a luxury home in California and you find your new dream home, you'll have to move there. This is another decision you'll have to make: movers or no movers? We suggest hiring professionals you can rely on and make this process as smooth as possible. After all, you probably have a lot of valuable belongings you don't want to damage or lose in the process. Therefore, hiring trustworthy residential movers is a reasonable decision.

The bottom line 

As you can see, renting vs. buying a luxury home in California is something many struggles with. It's a tale as old as time. However, there is no correct answer to this question. Your decision depends on where you stand in your life right at this moment. Are you ready to settle down, or you're not done with the adventures yet? Once you set your long-term life goals, you'll be able to decide on buying vs. renting as well.


Our goal is to offer an unparalleled level of service to our highly respected clients. Whether you are looking to buy or sell your home, we guarantee that our expertise, professionalism and dedication will guide you toward meeting your unique real estate needs.

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