To buy a house you'd need a lot of money all at once (you'd need a down payment and to be making enough money to qualify for a loan or enough to just pay for the place outright). But let's say you had that money and just didn't feeeeel like moving out of your rental. How long would it be before that turned into a very bad financial decision? It'd actually be a while in a lot of Los Angeles—the metro has the highest "breakeven horizon" of any US city, as Zillow calculates it, considering all costs, including rental prices, mortgage payments, closing costs, insurances, taxes, utilities, etc. etc. etc.
In LA as a whole, it takes 5.1 years of renting before it makes more financial sense to buy. But of course that varies a lot by neighborhood. So down below is a spreadsheet with nearly 200 LA metro neighborhoods, their breakeven length in years, and their April 2015 media rent (gauged by the Zillow Rent Index, which takes into account all rentals in the market). It's nice information to have, in case you ever land that giant chunk of cash.
· Renters Week 2015 [Curbed LA]