Since the early 1980s, Bielat Santore & Company has recommended Fleming White Appraisals, Inc. for accurate commercial appraisals. Originated nearly 50 years by Carl Fleming, Michael White joined his uncle Carl as an appraiser and eventually became his partner. Specializing in commercial and residential real estate appraisals, the company also provides various services including valuations, lease analysis, litigation and condemnation to name a few. With thousands of appraisals under their belts, including hundreds of restaurant evaluations, the Colonia, New Jersey based company has both the experience and market data to complete any appraisal assignment.
Michael White’s career in the appraisal business began in 1975, shortly after graduating from high school. In an effort to assist his uncle, who injured his arm, White offered to drive him to all of his appointments, where Fleming saw his potential in the business. White was invited by Fleming to work at the company and in July 1975, White made his first appraisal of a house in Little Silver, New Jersey. “Back then we were mainly doing residential and commercial appraisals,” said White. “You didn’t need a license in those days as long as you had customers who believed you could do it.” Upon graduating from college in 1979, Fleming offered White a position with his company and by 1989, the two made their partnership official.
Today, Fleming White Appraisals Inc. is proudly approaching 10,000 total appraisals, including over 500 restaurant appraisals. “Getting to this stage in my career, I’ve appraised buildings when they were first built,” said White. “I wish I kept photographs from years ago in the 70s and 80s.” While the partners’ primary territory has been New Jersey for years, White admits that he often comes across places he’s never seen before. “You have to have a strong understanding of the market so I decided to focus in New Jersey,” said White.
There are many factors to be considered when appraising a property, such as the condition of the real estate and the surrounding area. “I look for problems,” said White. “We’re not building inspectors. I look for obvious things like if it is maintained nicely.” White also explains the importance of the location of the property. “I look around outside and research the market that the property is in; what’s happening and if there are other buildings planned to be built or constructed,” said White. “Good thing about living in the area is I know more about what is going on. The most fun part of the job is I love going out and seeing places and talking to people,” said White. White documents his visits with photos, a physical description of the property, measurements of each room, and a floor plan if it is not already supplied by the owner to include in a report. “We look at the property independently and determine the value to see if it is sufficient to make the loan on the property,” said White.
Above all, White stresses that the number one thing his company looks for when appraising a commercial property is finding the right comparable sales for the property or specialty restaurant. “Restaurants are a very specific and unique use,” said White. “I feel we really need to use restaurant sales to measure comparable sales.” When selling a restaurant, it is important for the appraiser to know the specifics of the sale including the motivation between the buyer and seller as well as what’s included in the sale. “I know a lot of people in the business, specifically brokers, who will talk to me and give me these details,” said White. “Without that, it can overstate or understate the value of the restaurant.” Along with commercial and industrial appraisals, Fleming White Appraisals Inc. also specializes in green and sustainable buildings as they have been recognized by the Appraisal Institute in green and sustainable homes and solar energy. “The way the buildings are constructed is very innovative,” said White. “It’s a growing market; something that is very interesting to me and I try to stay on top of it.”
White is excited about what is to come in the family business for him and his uncle – Fleming is currently in his late 80s and still does the occasional appraisal, while two of his sons continue to work in the business as well. “The last year or two has been a very active year,” said White. “We get a lot of work towards the end of the year because people want to close within the year. All signs are pointing to another active year in 2018!”
Fleming White Appraisals Inc. is located at 2 Ridge Lane in Colonia, New Jersey. For all inquiries, contact 732.388.2177.