You ask if it is a â€bad idea to purchaseâ€, but I think the question should be, at what price should you purchase the home? Thereâ€™s not a lot of new construction in Oreland, so I believe I know the home you are talking about; and I think you have good reason to be cautious about the price. Although the street and the area are pretty eclectic, with homes that have sold for both more and less than the home in question, I still have concerns.
First, there are really no recent comps (similar homes that have sold) to support the price, which should be a problem for you and will be a problem for your lenderâ€™s appraiser. I ran a quick search in Oreland, then all of Springfield Township, and then I even checked for comps in neighboring Townships, but the price does not appear to be supported. Keep in mind this was a QUICK search - if you have a Realtor representing you, he/she will do a more extensive search for comps for you and then advise you accordingly. (And personally, I would feel a LITTLE better about the price if the home had a bigger lot, was on a less busy street, had a family room, or had a finished basement.)
Second, Oreland is primarily a $200,000 to $350,000 community; so despite the few higher sales in the not-so-recent past, you would still be paying well above the areaâ€™s predominant price range. Rule number one in real estate is â€œnever buy the best or most expensive house on the block or in the neighborhoodâ€, so I think that should be taken into consideration when making your decision. (Yes, I know we buy a home to live in and to enjoy, but it is still an investment!)
Therefore, if you really do love this home, then I suggest you have your agent help you determine an appropriate price and then make an offerâ€¦no matter how low it seems. At best, the seller might accept your offer, or at worst, the seller might be offended and reject it. Depending on the outcome, if your offer is supported by comparable sold properties, then youâ€™ll either feel better about the purchase OR feel relieved that you didnâ€™t pay too much. In the end, it is only a bad idea to purchase if you pay too much, so Iâ€™d rather that you insult the seller than overpay for the home.
Good luck to you, Sarah.