Real estate is an investment irrespective if you are buying the home for a primary residence or as an investment.
Emotionally falling in LOVE with a home:
Real estate is an emotional purchase. Buyers walk into a home and get emotionally in love with a home. Especially with a home that is staged well and double wide angled pictures. Many times I have met buyers who are willing to look past the shortfall of the home due to emotionally or blindly in love with the home. They are willing to compromise on their commute, location or other criteria. Don't get emotionally committed until you have passed the contingency period and slept over the home you want to purchase.
If you’re buying a home in a highly competitive market (multiple offers) and your offers keep getting beat out, you may be tempted to resort to desperate measures. Many times home buyers will waive home inspection or other contingencies to win a home. Don't be desperate. If you have to extend your purchase timeline it is okay rather than getting carried away by buying. Once you buy the biggest investment you are responsible for any issues you inherit with the home.
Over the Budget:
This one comes very aggressively and closely to my 1st rule of purchasing a home. I don't want my home buyers in the Northern Virginia area to go over the budget. To help you balance your work, personal life and financial commitment work with a lender before you stretch your budget. Understand your mortgage commitment and preview the homes within your budget.