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When Caleb Pepperday and his wife secured a 2.75% mortgage rate on their home in Pittsburgh in 2021, the young couple couldn’t believe their luck. Buying when interest rates were at historically low levels in the U.S., the Pepperdays received one of the most enviable loans in home ownership.

Just two years later, the couple sold to move to Montana—losing the rate and becoming renters again in the process. “We thought we were going to stay in that house for a long time,” Pepperday, 27, tells Fortune. “But things change.”

While he and wife don’t regret the move one bit—they and their entire generation are wishing there was a way to turn back the clock to the glory days of low mortgage rates. Right now the 30-year fixed rate hovers around 7.7%, which is not historically high, as many members of older generations are quick to point out. But when coupled with the outrageous price of the median home, now standing at over $412,000, many would-be homebuyers feel locked out of the market. In fact, affordability hit a 38-year low in September.

Millennials were late to home ownership for myriad reasons, including higher student debt burdens, wedding later in life, and rapidly rising rents. When rates dropped, it felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some to finally get into the market and buy their dream home. Now that rates have doubled, that dream is fading once again: One in five millennials now says they will never own a home, according to real estate brokerage Redfin.

But Pepperday, a certified financial planner (CFP), doesn’t regret his move. He encourages his fellow millennials who believe they lost their last shot at home ownership to reframe their thinking.

“The mindset of, if you don’t buy now you’ll miss out forever, I don’t think that’s true,” he says. “Interest rates are simply out of your control, so fretting about them doesn’t really do you much good. It’s easy to second-guess yourself and say what could have been, but focus on what you can control.”

Here’s the advice he and other financial experts have for millennials who feel they missed out on a golden housing opportunity.

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1. Take your time

There’s likely a good reason you didn’t buy when rates were low, even if you had the funds to do so, says Sean Williams, a Maryland-based CFP. You might not have known where you wanted to live, or you couldn’t find the right space, especially given the tight inventory.

Remember those reasons. It’s a mistake to compare yourself to others, rush into making one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, and potentially force something that could put you in a huge long-term financial bind, he says.

Don’t get caught up in the should-haves or would-haves and make a rash decision—do what makes sense your household. If you need a cautionary tale, Fortune previously reported upwards of 40% of recent buyers regret their decision, but feel locked in due to their low mortgage rate. (And that low rate doesn’t preclude you from shelling out for a ton of other unexpected costs you wouldn’t have renting.)

“Patience isn’t fun, but it can yield great dividends,” Williams says. “Something greater could await you, and you’ll miss it if you keep looking back.”

2. Use this time to prepare

Those are set on buying shouldn’t be dissuaded by higher rates, Williams says. Though inventory is low, housing hopefuls can use this time to build their credit, scope out mortgage lenders, explore neighborhoods, and better understand what they want in a home and what they can afford.

“Take the time to understand the transaction,” Williams says. “It won’t be a waste of time if you’re incrementally bettering your position for when the time is right.”

And remember all that regret? While owners may not want to sell now, they won’t hold out forever if they aren’t happy in their home, no matter how low their interest rate, Williams says. That will open up more inventory, which buyers can snap up—if they’re prepared.

“Home values can move. And so can interest rates,” he says. “It’s sort of like investing in the market. You can look back and say, ‘Oh, I could have timed it.’ But it really makes sense to put yourself in the best financial position possible no matter the season.”

3. Look into alternatives

Though a 30-year mortgage is the most traditional option—and typically the headline figure—Dottie Herman, vice chair and former CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, advises homebuyers to look into alternatives, such as five-year ARMs, which can offer lower introductory interest rates than conventional loans, or other forms of “creative financing.”

“I tell so many young people, it’s kind of a cliché that people use 30-year mortgages, because people don’t live in houses for 30 years anymore,” Herman says. “Go sit with your mortgage broker or banker and educate yourself on the different mortgages available.”

There are also grants and first-time homebuying programs that can make the process easier and more affordable. And Herman says to remember that you can always refinance in the future. If you find a home you like now that you can afford, it can still make sense to buy. You won’t get a sub-3% rate, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthwhile purchase. There will never be a perfect time.

Higher rates “would not stop me from buying a home. If you’re looking, you should not stop looking,” she says. “No one can time the market, so you just have to wait for a time that you can refinance.”

Finally, Pepperday says to consider whether home ownership is right for you at all, or if you just want to buy because it seems like the socially acceptable thing to do. Yes, it can help build wealth—but so can plenty of other financial moves, he says. Don’t put your life on hold for one financial choice.

“We are spending less on housing costs as a renter than when we owned,” Pepperday says. “Of course over time we’re not building any equity, but we have additional cash flow that we can use to put toward other investments that have more flexibility to get to the money than what a home has.”

The worst thing you can do, according to Pepperday, is stretch yourself to buy a home you can’t afford, just because you think it’s something you “should” do. “Don’t make yourself house-poor.”

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This article was written by Alicia Adamczyk from Fortune and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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