Rust rust and more rust. I honestly have never seen so much rust on a WRX EVER!!! Engine "re-done"? Not sure what that means. Is that re-built or the timing belt changed?
It's an automatic. I know I'll ruffle some feathers saying this but the WRX never should have been offered with an automatic tranny. Auto+turbo=no way to manage the turbo lag. If you can't drive stick you should be looking at a different car.
I understand that NY gets a lot of snow but so does Iowa, where I live. This means a ton of sand and salt in the winter. My 03 has been through 13 midwest winters, kept outside the whole time. Never stored in a garage and not a SPECK of rust.
If the owner didn't care about washing it I wonder what else he/she didn't care about?
I would keep looking.
The sensation is as hard to forget as it is to ignore!!!