Ellie and Bob Bunting's Blog Posts

A Tale of Two Storms: Donna and Ian

Times Square after Ian. Every business on the gulf was wiped out.“Mobile homes, boats, washing machines, parts of roofs and walls and dining room sets were scattered through miles of mangrove

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Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign......

For the past few weeks, volunteers have been busy painting street signs to help people navigate on the island.  Very few of the “Approved” signs survived the storm, so this was a

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Can the Beach School Be Saved?

Although Beach Elementary is still standing, the damage to the buildings and the classrooms appears to be extensive.  The school, for many years, was the center for community gatherings. 

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Roads and Bridges to Fort Myers Beach

In the 1920s, San Carlos Island was part of the mainland.  To get to the Beach from town, you had to take McGregor to John Morris Road in Iona.  When you reached Bunche Beach, you took a

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Things To Avoid After Applying for a Home Loan

Once you’ve applied for a mortgage to buy a home, there are some key things to keep in mind. While it’s exciting to start thinking about moving in and decorating, be careful when it

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What's Up With the Housing Market?

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for the Housing Market?If you’re thinking of buying or selling a house, you’re at an exciting decision point. And anytime you make

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Murder on the High Seas: What Happened to the Kramerers?

Lies and Cover-UpYourell knew that something was not right with the way the investigation was proceeding.  The boat was finally brought to Staniel Cay where she was tied up to a public dock

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What’s In a Name? From Crescent Beach to Fort Myers Beach

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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Swamp Fever at Babcock Ranch

 We spent the morning taking the Eco Tour at Babcock Ranch.  Although I have been living in SW Florida for over 60 years, this was my first trip to the ranch.  We had a wonderful time

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Celebrating 100 Years on Estero Island

Before 1921, the only way to access the island was by boat.  This limited development but did not detract people from taking a boat and enjoying a few days on the beach.  When the

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Changing Face of Fort Myers Beach: Bigelow Center Bites the Dust

Each day as I travel off the island, I notice more and more beach landmarks being demolished to make way for the Margaritaville resort. So far, the old Surf Club (Mermaid), the Pierview Hotel, Beach

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End of an Era: Changing Face of Fort Myers Beach

Carlos Bay Food Center was the anchor store for the Bigelow Business Center.  Photo Credit: SWFLHSEach day as I travel off the island, I notice more and more beach landmarks being demolished to

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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