It is always appropriate to ask such questions! Situations may have arisen that makes it more suitable for the current seller to rent the home!
As a buyers agent, we always recomend that anyone interested in renting that is having trouble finding rentals, to look to current listings for possible rentals.
Some agents may know right away if their seller would be willing to rent, while others may have to make a quick call to see if the sellers may do so.
I am not from the Johnstown area, but would suggest searching the areas with regards to pricing, size, etc....then making a list and get to calling. You may get lots of no's, but that one yes may have you feeling pretty satisfied in the end!