Titus577 wrote:As mentioned earlier paint and cosmetics can be upgraded later if need be.
A VERY simple, VERY basic paint job, done even sorta properly nowadays is going to cost you well on the north side of $10,000. So, you'd be looking at anywhere from one half to one third the value of the airplane, right??? Paint, unless you can do it yourself (and it ain't a car, folks) is a HUGE factor, in my opinion.
Find one with a GREAT or at least a good paint job and a relatively low time engine, OR find one for pennies on the dollar value, and plan to spend a LOT to get it up to speed.
Don't pay much attention to total time on the airframe....pay attention to CONDITION of the airframe. I've seen 1500 hour Cessnas that were essentially junk, and I owned a C-180 with 8,000 hours on it that was a super clean machine. The 180 had been wrecked and rebuilt (well) at 6500 hours.
Find a REALLY anal Cessna mechanic to do a thorough pre-buy. You want to know EVERY little niggly flaw-ask the mechanic to really pick it apart, then give you a list. Then YOU decide, in consultation with your mechanic, of course, which of those flaws you can live with, which ones will need to be fixed, and what that'll cost.
Paint is often overlooked, but it is expensive and it is the first and foremost thing that everyone sees of your airplane.
Interiors can be redone. I redid mine, using Airtex sets. Not cheap, but doable as an owner. You'll be looking at around $1000 to 1500 for interior if you do it yourself. Remember also that YOU will be looking at that part of the plane all the time you're flying, but you'll be looking at the OUTSIDE the rest of the time, just like everyone else.