Everyone follows in like sheep and they all say "never do it... horrible idea" - almost like a vomit reflex. In a perfect world, sure... let your nest egg grow and grow, live a modest lifestyle until you can save up your cash, etc. But... - If you can use your 401k to get into your dream house right now vs. having to otherwise wait 7-10 years to finally save up enough cash. - That's 7-10 years of living in your castle vs. living in a shithole, that easily seems like a quality of life value worth a 10% penalty. - At my age, I will be working for the next ~25 years away. I have time to rebuild. - Who is to say the investment in my house isn't in fact a better investment than my Fidelity mutual shit funds which haven't done a fucking thing for the past decade. - It's not like the money is used for a Vegas coke-whore vacation. It's like moving it from one pocket to another and there is a very real chance that the appreciation in my new house will be better than my mutual shit fund. I guess what I'm trying to say is that all these geniuses who say, "never, EVER, ever, EVER withdraw from your 401(k)" are full of shit if the alternative is stay in your shithole and cross your fingers and hope your mutual funds score big.