You described a property that has the "visual noise" taken care of . . . i.e., backyard faces the road, lot has a slightly higher elevation, brick wall, etc.
But you write there is "reasonable" noise heard from the road. And, you don't define the road. Is it a major thoroughfare? An artery? A connector? Who owns the road? Are there future plans for the road, i.e., "widening" or other "improvements" made?
Due diligence. This is something that you, as a potential buyer, must make. You can rely on your agent, and you can even post questions on Trulia and generate all different answers / suggestions / feed-back. BUT . . . whenever you buy, the ultimate DUE DILIGENCE is going to be on you.
So . . . with that being said . . . and not knowing what "reasonable" may mean to you, I would ask: Can you see you and your family living there?
Because that is what will happen if you buy the house. You will live there.
Who knows what the markert will be "a few years from now."
A year ago, no one could have predicted the mortgage meltdown. Everyone just KNEW there were bubbles going to be bursting all over the nation. But no one reported on HOW! No one said, "It will be the mortgage industry that's going to be causing this."
Ah . . . hindsight is always 20/20.
I've been an Exclusive Buyer's Agent for many years. I've shown properties that have been "unique" and my clients seemed to liked them for their reasons.
With all things "real estate" you will have plus (+'s) and minus (-'s) considerations about any property. If there are more PLUS features, and you can answer this question: Will you and your family be happy/comfortable living there . . . then, and only then should you consider the property as a viable option.
If there are too many "-'s" minus issues, and you can not answer the question of living there in comfort, maybe you should not consider that particular property. The road will ALWAYS be there. That won't change. Will your attitude change once living there? During the summer, if windows are open will the noise be more apparent?
Where are the bedrooms located? Do they border the street? Are you a light sleeper? Will this bother you?
If an agent tells you what the market will be in the next 3 months, you better make a mental note that agent doesn't know what they're talking about -- let alone what the next "few years" will bring.
While there are all kinds of stats and national trends, real estate is local . . . real estate is subjective . . . real estate is NOT a hard-science that can have a theory or formula made that can be upheld and proven in the timeframe of the study. While "guessing" would be on the other side of that coin, it really isn't a good basis on determining if you should buy a house or not.
You should be looking at that property as being a viable home -- for you! Not what may/may not be happening in the future. It may be a STRONG SELLERS market in a few years. Who knows? A speck of land with a shack might be selling at top dollar . . . we just don't know. I recall that type of market a few years ago, as will many agents who have been doing this for a while can attest!
"Sweet deals" or not, you have got to be able to answer the very simple question of whether you (and your family) will be comfortable living there and want to make that property your home. All other thoughts, predictions of future markets, etc. are irrelevant.
Perhaps, this is a property that is affordable to your budget, and offers the MOST bang for your bucks . . . and the only down side is the proximity to the street.
If you can see yourself living there, and the "+" factor outweighs the negatives, and you can comfortably afford the home without being over your head in debt, you plan on living there for a while, you have done your due diligence and are satisfied with the findings . . . then you will have some informed consent, and make your decisions based on the here and now!
I bought and lived in a townhome that was smack DAB on a busy street. It was a corner, end-unit, and there was no two ways about it! There was a major street AND a side street that was used to get INTO the surrounding neighborhood. I bought it for ALL the PLUS factors. One being it was located right across the street from an elementary school my son would attend. Another PLUS was that it was a huge townhome, 4 bedrooms, 2.1 baths, great floor plan, and was the best buy I could have made with the buying budget I had. YES, there was street noise, but during the winter when the windows were shut and the heater on, I couldn't hear a thing. During the summer, if it was hot enough, the windows were closed and the A/C was on, I couldn't hear a thing. I bought it for $118,000 . . . sold it for $172,000. It wasn't a whopping KILL at the time, but I wasn't in the red when I sold it. It met my needs and I was happy / comfortable while living there.