The OFB 50 States Project

50 States Project

You might recall that Joanna and I still don’t think we’ve found our “forever place.” Just a few weeks ago, we discussed some of the criteria we’re looking for in a place where we can really plant roots and call home. The comments from everyone were awesome — from those who find themselves in a similar boat of searching for Perfectville, to those who have already found it, to those who enjoy playing matchmaker and offered us great suggestions for cities and states that might meet our criteria.

So we had an idea. Well, first we responded to everyone’s comments. And then we ate some ice cream. And THEN we had an idea… the OFB 50 State Series.

What we’d love to do is hear about each and every state y’all live in. That’s where the form below comes in. Answer some questions about your state which we’ll then combine with a few objective-ish financial-ish rankings (taxes, cost of living, most haunted, etc.). And thus provide “forever place” seekers (like us) a useful resource in their search. And for those who are already deeply rooted in a state, you can just sit back and mock the 49 other measly contenders.

We’re never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you. But all of those nevers are totally contingent on you taking 5-10 minutes and sharing your state with us in this form. Okay, you called our bluff — there are no contingencies. But we’d still really love to hear about where you hail from.

And a few notes:

  • If you’ve lived in multiple states in the last 5-10 years and you’re game (because you’re a freaking champ) then fill out a second (or third) form. Thank you, kindly.
  • International folks: you’re cool, too! Your responses will be our HGTV House Hunters International options. 🙂 Fill out your country/country’s province and we’d love to cover those, too.
  • Anything you say about your state can and will be used against you in a court of law.

So before we kick this all off, what would you say is the most ideal state of residence for you? Least ideal? Any that you’re particularly interested in hearing more about?

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  • Reply Elvin @ Journey To Millions April 19, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Wow! This is a great concept. Kudos to both of you for this awesome idea! Can I ask permission to do this in our blog too, maybe next year? Please??? Thanks in advance! 🙂

    • Reply Joanna April 19, 2013 at 9:45 pm

      Thanks, Elvin! Just a fair warning, we don’t know if this idea will actually work yet. So maybe wait and see how it turns out!

      • Reply Elvin @ Journey To Millions April 20, 2013 at 3:12 am

        Yeah. Thanks for the warning.

        I’ll wait how the concept will turn out. I guess nothing can go wrong with building a database of the good and the bad side of where people live.

        Wish you all the best! 🙂

  • Reply Grayson @ Debt Roundup April 19, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Awesome idea. I just put my info in.

    • Reply Joanna April 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks, Grayson!

  • Reply Erin @ Red Debted Stepchild April 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I filled out your form for Ohio! I can’t wait to see the results of this, my husband and I don’t know where our forever home will be either. Moving out of state for the first time this summer so let the adventure begin!

    • Reply Joanna April 19, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks, Erin!

      And that’s exciting. Good luck with the move!

  • Reply Mery April 19, 2013 at 11:05 am

    It says it’s no longer accepting responses! I can’t see the form…

    • Reply Johnny April 19, 2013 at 11:09 am

      Ahh! Sorry. I accidentally hit something. Fixed now. Thanks for the heads up!

      • Reply Mery April 19, 2013 at 11:12 am

        Hooray! Thanks!

  • Reply Anastasia April 19, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Hmm I can’t see the form.. I guess my State of New Jersey is just an automatic NO lol. Please don’t let the Jersey Shore sway you! I will check back later when I get home to see if it was just my work computer.

    PS Who is Levar Burton?

    • Reply Johnny April 19, 2013 at 11:13 am

      Sorry! I messed something up, but it’s working again.

      As for Levar Burton, this is probably all you need to see the legend that is Levar Burton: You probably don’t have 30 minutes, but you get the idea.

    • Reply Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies April 19, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Levar Burton = the host of reading rainbow, and also played Jordie LaForge on StarTrek the Next Generation. I used to put a banana clip in front of my eyes and pretend to be Jordie. (Too weird? whatever!)

  • Reply Heidi April 19, 2013 at 11:45 am

    What a fun idea!

    • Reply Joanna April 19, 2013 at 9:47 pm

      Thanks, Heidi. We’re excited to see how it goes!

  • Reply Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies April 19, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Love it – submitted on behalf of my state – the state of South Florida. Which is distinct from North Florida and the panhandle. By a LOT.

    • Reply Joanna April 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm

      Thanks, Mrs. PoP! And I believe it with the Florida distinctions. I kind of got that idea from visiting different parts of FL growing up!

  • Reply Anna M. April 19, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I sent in 3(!) forms about the three states I have lived in the past 5 years. My husband and I are currently testing out options for our forever home, although the more we think about it the more unsure we are that we will ever find “the one”. We would love to be in a warmer climate without harsh winters and somewhat close to a major city, but most importantly, an area with lots of job opportunities!

    Here’s to keeping our fingers crossed!

    • Reply Joanna April 19, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      Awesome. Thanks for filling those out, Anna!

      It sounds like your criteria is spot on with ours! I doubt we’ll ever find a place that 100% fits the bill, but we’re gonna try to get as close as we can!

  • Reply Rob April 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Of course us old trekkies know of Levar Burton – Lt. Geordi la Forge from the Star Trek Next Generation series. I’ll be sending you an International submission shortly.

    • Reply Joanna April 19, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      My dad made sure all of us kids saw every Star Trek episode there was to see growing up, but I have to say I was more interested in Reading Rainbow! 🙂

      Thanks for submitting your stuff!

  • Reply Chris April 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Neil Patrick Harris is from NM, nuff said. Forgot to mention that in my form :).

    • Reply Joanna April 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      Well that changes everything! 😉

      Thanks for the submission, Chris!

  • Reply sarah April 19, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I am from DC and have lived in NYC for 15 years. I figured it wasn’t even worth my time to fill out the forms, given that both miserably fail the reasonable cost of living requirement. Also, given that you lived in NYC already–where you didn’t eat out a lot!! Whaaaaat! There are plenty of cheap eats here! I had great sushi on the UES for lunch last weekend for a measly $10 for 3 hefty rolls + salad. Fed both me and my bf.

    • Reply Joanna April 19, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      That’s an awesome deal. There are a ton of cheap eats in NYC for sure. We loved that aspect, even if we didn’t take advantage of it as much as we could have. Our favorite eats for cheap were Thai, Indian, street meat, dumplings in China Town, pizza (duh), etc. The possibilities were endless.

      We’d still love a submission on DC and/or NYC from you, Sarah! I don’t think we could adequately do the 50 states without a perspective on both of those cities!

  • Reply Taylor April 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I hope that my gushing about Denver doesn’t get to annoying or extravagant levels!

    • Reply Joanna April 19, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      We love any and all gushing, Taylor! The more the better. 🙂

      Thanks for the submission!

      • Reply Michelle April 21, 2013 at 12:14 pm

        I gushed about Denver too!

  • Reply Rachael April 19, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    I just gushed about Massachusetts (we live in Boston). No idea if you are ever planning on coming back but maybe I can convince others 😉 after what we have been though this week with the bombings I am feeling connected to my community, city, and state, so thought I should share how much I love it 🙂

    • Reply Johnny April 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      All the awfulness in Boston this last week had us remembering all the amazing wonderful things there. If anything, it probably made us more open to coming back.

      Thanks for sharing your state, and give a hug to your city from us.

  • Reply The Linz (Linzi's Life on the Run) April 20, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I had to give a shout out to Idaho, as I’m pretty sure that is one state that might not be on your radar. I feel like Idaho is {the city of Boise specifically} one of those places you would never even think about living, until you’ve been there. 🙂

    • Reply Johnny April 22, 2013 at 12:53 am

      In our 6+ years of Utah living, we never did make it to our northern neighboring state. I’ve got some good friends in the Boise area that love it though. And it would put us a lot closer to our families. Thanks for adding it to the list!

  • Reply Brian April 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Took care of my home state. I could add a country too if you really wanted that too.

    • Reply Johnny April 22, 2013 at 12:54 am

      Awesome, thanks Brian. And if you’ve got the time, we’re all ears on the country, too. Can’t promise we’ll be Irish residents anytime soon, but there might be someone else out there who make the move because of you. The Internet’s amazing like that.

  • Reply Laurie @thefrugalfarmer April 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I’d love to hear more about the southern states. As much as we love MN, we’re really getting wimpy about the winter season here as we love to play outside.

    • Reply Johnny April 29, 2013 at 1:33 am

      That’s definitely our biggest reservation about those northern states. Seems like great folks, just too darn cold. From everything I’ve seen from the southern state responses so far, there’s a whole lotta southern pride. Stay tuned!

  • Reply D April 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    I added MD! I am interested to see the info you gather, we’re currently considering the Carolinas and Maine for our forever homes!

    • Reply Johnny April 29, 2013 at 1:35 am

      Awesome! After visiting some family in the VA/DC area last fall, we totally fell in love with the area. So we look forward to reading more about your state!

      Hopefully you saw Friday’s feature on North Carolina. The others will follow sometime in the next, oh, 50 weeks. 🙂 Stay tuned!

  • Reply Melissa @My Peach Life April 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Just filled out the form for GA! I love my state so much I even reference it in my blog name (Georgia= Peaches)

    • Reply Johnny April 29, 2013 at 1:47 am

      Thanks! Despite knowing very little about your state, I’ve always been interested in Georgia. We’re going to try and make a brief stop down there on a road trip this summer, so we’ll be paying close attention to you and your fellow peaches’ recommendations.

  • Reply Catherine May 10, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I filled it out for Montana- my current home. Since I’ve lived in Nc, Ohio, California, New York and New Jersey in the last ten years, I may do another. My guess is you won’t get too many responses from Montana, so I started there.

    • Reply Johnny May 10, 2013 at 9:59 am

      Awesome! And you guessed correctly with Montana! I think the others have plenty of live, except for New Jersey, so if you’re so inclined, we’d love to hear your take on the Garden State, too!

      Thanks, Catherine!

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