It's weird cause like, the whole mindset of LSAT prep should be changed. If it is common practice for people to take the LSAT 3 times, then you don't sound like a "jackass" when you say you received a 169 but you are going to retake. Of course you are going to retake if it's your first attempt! Just because some people may never reach a 169 or whatever doesn't mean you shouldn't try to obtain the best score possible before you apply.
This brings up one of the first common and widespread mistakes newly minted law students make: I'm in at X law school, and that's good enough for me! And why do people ACROSS THE BOARD think it's good enough? Because it's law school! Everyone thinks it's so cool they are going to be a lawyer. Truth is, you are FAR from becoming a lawyer and you need to start worry about debt and job prospects before you even decide to go. Not while you are in school. Not during OCI. Not when you graduate. Right NOW, before you decide to go. So many people fail to do this it is baffling. Obtaining the best LSAT score possible is the single best thing you can do at this juncture to INCREASE your job prospects and DECREASE your debt.
Of course you could end up scoring lower. You're not wrong in the general sense, but sometimes you just hit your max. I beat my PT high by a point on test day after struggling with the damn thing for almost a year. It was a well-received fluke, but a fluke all the same. The other issue was I literally had to start last year, as in, I wouldn't have received any help if I had taken a year between. Gotta love simultaneously generous/stubborn parents.
The vast majority of people do not score higher than their highest PT, so we are talking about a very small subgroup of people who are faced with the decision of whether to retake or not. Among those people, among those in the 150-166 range, I would still recommend retaking for two reasons: (1) If you study properly for another 3+ months, it is unlikely you will score lower then your previous LSAT, and (2) even if you DO score lower, the kind of schools you are looking at with a 150-166 (hell, maybe 167-169) are almost solely interested in simply increasing their LSAT/GPA medians and moving up in the rankings, so if you have a score that increases or at least meets their target LSAT median, they likely aren't going to care if you scored a bit lower on the last one. Even if many DID care, I would say it would still be worth the risk given the enormous benefits you receive for each LSAT point. Among schools in the 170+ median range, I would simply restate that it is unlikely you will score lower and that the risk that you could are worth the possible benefits.
Regarding the issue with the parents, if they won't let you stay in their house while you study for a test that could save you tens upon thousands of dollars, then you are dealing with some irrational actors and it's really no fault of your own. If your parents will LITERALLY make you homeless if you do not attend law school this very year, not much you can do. Otherwise, do as the other poster did, and just fight with them on it and try to explain how retaking has a significant impact upon whether or not you will live under a mountain of debt for the rest of your life.
We are talking about scores most typically in the 150-170 range, and those should ALWAYS be retaken, regardless of GPA.
Put simply: keep taking the LSAT until you get 170+. After that, whether you should retake depends on your GPA.
Yeah, I would go a little further to 175 but you have the basic point, since 169 and below covers the vast majority of LSAT takers.