I've shared bits about my daughter's house hunting; in spite of the higher interest rates, she's still looking. She won't force a decision, and has looked at five in person so far. But she's in a sort of brain circular cycle. The thought of dropping so much on down payment and closing costs, then to have a mortgage that's double her rent is scary. Yet, the main reason she worked so hard to save, chose an apartment with rent as low as possible, was to buy a house.
This circular thought pattern, the when to act conundrum is so relevant in our lives, and resurfaces at different periods of life. People may save before having a child because they want to reduce outside employment by one or both parents. It might be saving for a medium to big wedding, or a trip of a lifetime. Knowing when the savings goal is met, when it feels safe to go ahead is quite a dilemma, especially when the impact is long reaching.
My daughter's in the saving for house/buying the house loop. We're in it as we figure out when to officially get off the retirement savings loop and exit to retirement. We'll do this twice, for DH, then me.
An important step we're practicing is to live for awhile before pulling the lever, as if the life change has already occurred. That'll help ensure it's doable before it's real. Paper budgets are all fine and well, but without discipline, they could create a false sense of financial security. This is why I'm so focused on living off just my income this year.
My daughter's been putting in her savings minimally the extra difference between rent and her top end mortgage/ escrow. ( With saving rent while temporarily with us, that's going in her savings too.) Not only is she saving more now, she can see when her cash flow is super tight. She might only have $25 until pay day due to needing to have a tire replaced, or even something fun like concert tickets, without dipping into savings. That provides discipline during the saving cycle to make sure she brown bags it for lunch for the week or meets up with a friend for a walk instead of going out for dinner.
We'll keep this strategy in our house for the time being. We're hoping to make subtle changes that if maintained, seeing a significant drop in discretionary income won't make the day to day post house or post retirement a challenge. This is not advice, just a little sharing of what seems to be working for us.