The decision to rent or buy used to be a no brainer, but with prices in Southern California up by a third in the past two years affordability is a key factor for many would be buyers. Additionally, the post-crash bargain bin has been picked clean. Given these factors the decision to buy or rent isn’t that simple anymore.Despite recent price increases, doubts linger about the health of the housing recovery, and the broader economy. That has a lot of would-be home buyers eyeing the market more carefully. They’re weighing the new higher prices against interest rates still near record lows, deciding between the flexibility of renting and the potential long-term payoff of homeownership. And many are looking at a job market that still feels a little wobbly and wondering whether now is the right time to take the plunge.