This is exactly the experience of most teams I've spoken with, be they students or businesses, for all the pre-production phase. You simply can't and shouldn't spend on costly AI infrastructure before you've nailed your solution; in fact any kind of infra not just AI.
What you do is rent some cloud to power quickly through your tests — better have 10x worth of big Nvidia GPUs over 2 weeks than buy 1 or 2 max yourself and wait 5-10x more time — not even factoring that setting up clusters of GPU and running such workflows consistently over days, weeks requires pretty deep sysadmin/hardware knowledge and experience; it took me two years to really master that non-problem part on my home server (but now it's a skill I have so that was worth it, but certainly set my research and learning back by as much time).
Besides, there's a time when the familiarity, safety and general comfort of home simply can't be beat. Notwithstanding pool tables and free soda, lol.