Ellie and Bob Bunting's Blog Posts

Useppa Island: Playground for the Rich and Famous

We just spent the weekend cruising around Pine Island Sound, doing a little shelling and fishing with friends.  Although I have been here many times over the years, I never get tired of

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Where Have the Scallops Gone?

We just got back from Crystal River where we spent a couple of days scalloping in the warm gulf waters between Crystal River and Homosassa. This was only my third attempt at diving for scallops as

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Coconuts, Cottages, and Casinos

 The BoomThe mid 1920s brought a boom to Florida as more and more Americans were discovering the wonderful beaches and clear waters surrounding the state.  America was experiencing

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The 1920s: Coconuts, Cottages, and Casinos

 The mid 1920s brought a boom to Florida as more and more Americans were discovering the wonderful beaches and clear waters surrounding the state.  America was experiencing prosperity, and

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How Long Will The Hot Market Continue?

Will this hot market continue? With home prices continuing to deliver double-digit increases, some are concerned we’re in a housing bubble like the one in 2006. However, a closer look at the

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Will the Real Estate Market Continue to Grow?

What Do Experts See on the Horizon for the Second Half of the Year?As we move into the latter half of the year, questions about what’s to come are top of mind for buyers and sellers. Near

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Who was WP Franklin?

Camping at the LocksRecently, my husband and I took our motor home to the WP Franklin campground.  Located in Olga, the campground has 29 RV sites and 8 boat sites with 50 amp electric and

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Are We in a Housing Bubble ???

Are We in a Housing Bubble? Experts Say No.The question of whether the real estate market is a bubble ready to pop seems to be dominating a lot of conversations – and everyone has an opinion.

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Buying Today--Taking the Plunge

Buying a Home Is Still AffordableThe last year has put emphasis on the importance of one’s home. As a result, some renters are making the jump into homeownership while some homeowners are re

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Moving On Up

Have Your Day in the Sun by Moving Up This Summer [INFOGRAPHIC]Some HighlightsLonger days and sunny weather mean summer is upon us, and what better conditions than right now to upgrade to

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Hang In There

Homebuyers: Hang in There [INFOGRAPHIC]Some HighlightsToday’s sellers’ market provides unique challenges—and benefits—for buyers.Current low interest rates won

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What's In a Name? How Fort Myers Beach Got Its Name

What’s in a name?  According to Shakespeare, “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  It wasn’t that easy for the early developers of

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Spotlight on History: Fort Myers Beach Pioneers: Hugh McPhie

One of the earliest homesteaders on the island was a man named Hugh McPhie.  He arrived in America from Scotland in the late 1880s and, in 1899, McPhie was granted the third patent on the

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Southwest Florida Hurricanes 1921-2021

1921--Unnamed Storm On October 17, 1921, a low pressure system was observed in the western Caribbean.  By October 22, a Cat 1 hurricane with winds of 81 mph had formed. One day later,

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Murder in Paradise: Galloway Murders on Fort Myers Beach (1953)

On September 2, 1953,  Ted “Carl” Smiddy was hitchhiking near Atlanta, Georgia shortly after being released from jail in Tennessee for breaking and entering and larceny. 

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End of an Era --Mermaid Closes

This week, the Mermaid Club is closing for good.  This iconic beach bar has been a staple in the community since the 1950s.  The history of the bar, however, dates back a few decades

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What is the Future of the Housing Market?

Will the Housing Market Maintain Its Momentum?Last week’s Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows sales have dropped by 3.7%

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Why You Shouldn't Sell On Your Own Because It's a Seller's Market

Don’t Sell on Your Own Just Because It’s a Sellers’ MarketIn a sellers’ market, some homeowners might be tempted to try to sell their house on their own (known

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Selling the Cape

The Rosen Brothers, who developed Cape Coral, were masters of marketing.  Billed as a “Waterfront Wonderland” Gulf American Corporation embarked on an advertising campaign that

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Housing Bubble?

3 Reasons We’re Definitely Not in a Housing BubbleHome values appreciated by about ten percent in 2020, and they’re forecast to appreciate by about five percent this year. This has some

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How Long Will the Low Interest Rates Continue?

Will Low Mortgage Rates Continue through 2021?With mortgage interest rates hitting record lows so many times recently, some are wondering if we’ll see low rates continue throughout

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A Famous Plane Ride

Leonard Rosen was not a developer when he took the famous plane ride over Cape Coral.   Born and raised in Baltimore, Rosen and his brother, Jack operated an appliance store and an

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Early Days on the Cape

Harney Point MassacreBetween 1816 and 1858 the United States Army faced off with the Seminole Indians in one of the longest and costliest Indian War ever fought in the United States.  Known as

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5 Steps to Follow When Applying for Forbearance

5 Steps to Follow When Applying for ForbearanceIf you’re currently feeling the stress of affording your mortgage payment, or if you know someone who is, there’s still time to get help.

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Paradise Lost

Recently, I spent the weekend in a cabin at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala.  After enjoying the famous glass bottom boat tours, we took a walk around the grounds where I came upon this

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History Corner: Early Developments and Subdivisions on Fort Myers Beach

C. Case The early part of the 20th century brought more development as subdivisions were platted on Fort Myers Beach.  H.C. Case platted the first of these subdivisions in 1911. 

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Before Disney, There Was Silver Springs

Long before Disney World, Silver Springs was one of the state’s most popular tourist attractions. In its heyday, the crystal clear waters of Silver Springs attracted more than one million

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Valentine's Day Fascinating Facts

Every year, on February 14, couples around the world honor their sweethearts with candy and flowers.  Today's Valentine's Day customs go back hundreds of years.  Here are a few fascinating

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Tripping Down the Trail

A Trip Down the Trail Everglades City was designated as a Florida State Trail Town in 2019 by the DEP Office of Gateways and Trails.  Located 26 miles east of Naples and 60 miles west of Miami,

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Advantages to Home Ownership

Buying a Home Early Can Significantly Increase Future WealthAccording to an Urban Institute study, homeowners who purchase a house before age 35 are better prepared for retirement at age.

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Dome Homes

 If you are cruising around the Ten Thousand Islands south of Marco Island, you might see six dome houses rising out of the water approximately 300 feet offshore from Cape Romano Island.

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Myakka River State Park

Last weekend, Bob and I set up camp at Myakka River State Park.  Just outside of Sarasota, this is one of the largest and oldest state parks in Florida.  The Myakka River is Florida&rsquo

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Boat Races Return to Beach

 Thursday, October 10 through Saturday, October 12, the offshore powerboat races will be returning to Fort Myers Beach after a 13 year hiatus with “The Road Offshore.”  The

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Indian Key Massacre

The 11-acre island known as Indian Key was the scene of two of the bloodiest massacres in Florida History. Visiting the island today (from Indian Key Fill) all you will find is a dock, a trail, a

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Home Prices Increasing in Every Market

CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (HPI) Report revealed,“National home prices increased 3.6% year over year in July 2019 and are forecast to increase 5.4% from July 2019 to July 2020.&rdquo

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Growing Equity in Your Home

The Benefits of Growing Equity in Your HomeOver the last couple of years, we’ve heard quite a bit about rising home prices. Today, expert projections still forecast continued growth, just at a

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Hurricane Donna: After the Storm

Today is September 10, the anniversary of two hurricanes that affected Fort Myers Beach 47 years apart.  Heralded by some meteorologists as the “peak of hurricane season,” September

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History of Indian Key

The next time you are heading south on US 1 in the Florida Keys, when you get to mile market 78,  look to your left, and you will see a small island sitting about three-quarters of a mile off

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Labor Day Hurricanes

Like most people in Florida, I have spent the last week glued to the Weather Channel watching Hurricane Dorian.   Luckily, the West Coast was taken out of the cone over the weekend, but

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Nettie's Place

One of the first restaurants on Fort Myers Beach was called Nettie’s. Located on the beach at the end of what is now Palermo Drive, Nettie’s was a popular place for sunbathers,,

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How to Judge the Impact of the Next Economic Slowdown on Housing

We’ve experienced economic growth for almost a decade, which is the longest recovery in the nation’s history. Experts know a recession can’t be too far off, but when will this

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Surviving Hurricane Donna

Part II: Surviving the StormFor me, a third grader at Beach Elementary, September 10, 1960,  started off like any normal day.  The sun was out, the sky was blue, and the gulf breezes were

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Hurricane Donna

Part I:  The StormAs a kid growing up on Fort Myers Beach, I can recall many times packing our belongings and heading into Fort Myers because of a potential hurricane.  Luckily, most of

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Lake O Hurricane of 1928

By September 1928, the real estate boom in Florida was beginning to fade.  The Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 had frightened many new residents when they realized how vulnerable their homes were

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Labor Day Hurricane of 1935

In the late summer of 1935, the citizens of the Florida Keys were in the depths of the Great Depression.   Key West, once a prosperous port city, had declared bankruptcy.  Residents

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1944 Hurricane

In October 1944, the world was at war and most people in SW Florida were more worried about German submarines than hurricanes.  After all, there had not been a major storm 1926;  they had

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1921 Hurricane

In honor of hurricane season, I thought I would research and write about some of the most destructive hurricanes to hit our area over the past centuries beginning with the Hurricane of 1921.On

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Are Older Generations Really Not Selling Their Homes?

Many studies suggest one of the main reasons for the inventory shortage in today’s market of homes for sale is that older generations have chosen to “age in place” over

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Boomerang Buyers: Don’t Be Afraid to Buy a Home Again!

According to CoreLogic, from 2006 to 2014 “there were 7.3 million housing foreclosures and 1.9 million short sales.” The hesitation some Americans feel after experiencing a

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Suprising Reason for the Inventory Shortage

New Study Reveals One Surprising Reason for the Inventory ShortageThere has been a great amount written on millennials and their impact on the housing market. However, the headlines often contradict

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The Old Swing Bridge

The old swing bridge that served the island for over 50 years was built in Germany in 1927.  The bridge was brought to the United States in 1928 originally for use in Jacksonville. ,

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Low Interest Rates: Here to Stay?

Are Low Interest Rates Here to Stay?Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have been on the decline since November, now reaching lows last seen in January 2018. According to Freddie

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Happy Easter...the humble egg

When I was a kid, I remember coloring eggs for Easter, and as a mom, this was always an Easter tradition in our house as well. The history of coloring eggs in the spring started well before

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Sanders' Boat Yard

At the end of the 19th century, Estero Island was nothing more than a fishing camp.   However, in 1894, a sawmill was built at the south end of the island and run by the Koreshan Unity.

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San Carlos on the Gulf

In the 1920s, Florida became well known as a vacation destination, and Crescent Beach (as the island was known at the time) started to develop.  Tom Philn the 1920s, Florida became well

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Beach Library

The first free public library on Fort Myers Beach was located in this small cottage owned by Clem and Lucy McGee.  The library was manned a few hours each day by volunteers and remained in this

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Real Estate News

Homebuyers Shouldn’t Worry About 2008 All Over AgainLast week, realtor.com released a survey of active home shoppers (those who plan to purchase their next home in 1 year

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Beach Hotel

In 1912 the first hotel on Estero Island was built at the end of Pompano Street. At this time, the island was only accessible by boat. The guests would arrive by schooner and would dock at a pier on

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Free Concert

On Thursday, April 4, the Friends of Lovers Key will sponsor the last sunset beach barbeque and acoustic concert.  The show will start at 5:45 and will include live music, a beach BBQ and a

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Changing Times

I came across this picture recently and thought it might make an interesting subject for a post.  When I was young, this building was home to the “Cotton Shop” where you could

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Time to Buy

Do 46 Million Millennials Know They Are Mortgage Ready?Many have written about the millennial generation and whether or not they, as a whole, believe in homeownership as part of attaining the

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Credit Scores and Home Purchase

What Credit Score Do You Need To Buy A House?There are many misconceptions about the credit score needed to buy a house. Recently, it was reported that 24% of renters believe they need a

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Good News for Buyers and Sellers

Why an Economic Slowdown Will NOT Crush Real Estate this TimeLast week, the National Association for Business Economics released their February 2019 Economic Policy Survey. The survey

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Soft Landing

No Worries… Home Prices Coming in for a SOFT LandingHome prices have appreciated considerably over the last five years. This has some concerned that we may be in for another dramatic

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7 Things To Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage!

 7 Things To Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage!Congratulations! You’ve found a home to buy and have applied for a mortgage! You are undoubtedly excited about the opportunity to decorate

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End of an Era

During the “pink gold rush” of the 1950s, over 200 shrimp boats called San Carlos and Estero Islands their home port.  Hurricane Donna swept across the islands in 1960 destroying

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Shrimp Festival History

Since this is Shrimp Festival Week, I am going to continue on the subject of shrimping for the next couple of posts.  I remember when I was a kid, my father would go to San Carlos Marina every

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"Pink Gold" Discovered in the Gulf--Shrimping Industry is Born on San Carlos Island

In 1949, “pink gold” was discovered in the Dry Tortugas off Key West.  This particular species of shrimp, known by its scientific name of Penaesus Duoranum,  is considered by

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