This was it, the home they'd been looking for. An 18th-century white farmhouse in Merrimac, MA, weathered with chips and cracks—and accompanied by a barn. It got better when Chelsea Gray and her husband Joe stepped inside and laid eyes on the kitchen. Spacious yet cozy, it was soaked with sunlight, and smelled warm, like apple and cinnamon and...coal from a double-sided working fireplace.
What they were less excited about? Its upgrades. “Most buyers would be relieved by this, but we were disappointed that no one would guess that the kitchen, along with the rest of the home, was built in 1755,” says Chelsea.