Posts Tagged ‘Chichen Itza Photography’

So, I have taken the plunge and started a new career.  I completed a required 60 hour course in real estate through Rockwell Institute, passed the Washington State Real Estate exam and applied for the state license.  Now I am getting settled in with a broker, Mike Alvarez and Cypress GMAC.

New beginnings are always tricky things.  Starting new and starting over always takes much longer than what one first thinks.  Beyond the obvious education and training, there are also the adjustments to new ways of thinking.  The rhythm of life changes take time to adjust to their criss-cross ways.  Navigating the unsure waters of unfamiliar places with unfamiliar landscapes can be disconcerting.  It can also be exciting.

I am no stranger to change.  I have moved more times in my life than I like to remember.  I have had so many different jobs that I can no longer remember them all.  The only steady occupation I had for the last 25 years was as a pastor of various churches, which almost always required some kind of ability to supplement my income.  So, I look at this change in life as another chapter of a long journey with twists and turns.

I like the independence that a career in real estate brings to a person.  It is not necessary to punch a time clock.  A person is rewarded for their own hours kept and hard work.  A real estate career is also people focused and people driven, which is something I’ve always enjoyed most in whatever job I was doing over the last 25 years.

The training and education for a real estate career is important.  The real estate course and state exam covers all of the important definitions and legal aspects of real estate.  However, after those are passed, then one must learn all about the real estate forms and contracts, broker policies and procedures as well as the in-and-outs of marketing.  It is important to find a broker who will take the time to mentor and train you.  It is one reason I picked Cypress GMAC and working with Mike Alvarez.  He is very good at training his agents well.  It not only helps his agents, but it also helps him as a broker to have well-trained and well-educated agents out in the field.

This past week we covered buyers’ agreements or purchase and sales agreements.  We will be next going over sellers’ agreements or listing agreements.  At the same time, he helped me to set up my own real estate agent website under Cypress GMAC.  My personal website introduces me and the number of services our brokerage offers their clients.  A client(s) can also set up their own web site portfolio and do searches from my web page for houses and properties.  They can then save these and do comparison shopping in our housing market across the Tri-Cities of Washington State or within each one of the cities: Richland, Kennewick, Pasco and outlying areas.

The way real estate is being done is quickly changing.  The internet is changing the house shopping and marketing procedures.  However, the basics of real estate do not change.  It still requires entering into contracts and making sure the right paperwork is correctly filled out.  The best interest of the seller or the buyer needs to be guarded.  This is one of the best reasons for engaging a real estate agent in buying or selling properties.

A good real estate knows the area, knows the contracts, knows the legal jargon and can help make sure you are getting the best deal under the best circumstances.  There is nothing worse than completing a contract only to find out later that you could have gotten a better deal or that things were not included – or excluded – in the contract that should have been.  A real estate agent can explain the preliminary paperwork and sales agreement so that either the seller or the buyer knows and understands what they are signing.

Mayan Architecture and Art, Chichen Itza, July 2003

Mayan Architecture and Art, Chichen Itza, July 2003 ©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

In a society that is “suit happy,” it is wise to have someone who can help you avoid that kind of pitfall because of contract disagreements or misunderstandings.  In such a litigious culture as ours, a person cannot go wrong paying to guarantee that they are covered in all aspects of any contract they enter into.  When Mike Alvarez was going over how to fill out contracts and agreements, he would often initiate a section by saying, “Now, if you miss this, this could really mess you up!”  It is good to have someone who knows real estate contracts on your side.

All of this I have learned in just the first couple of weeks! I cannot imagine what more lies in store as I continue with training, classes and mentoring.  I actually find it fun and exciting.  I get to help someone else purchase something that is very significant to them and in which they will be enjoying life for the next number of years.  I get to help someone else sell a home so that they too can launch into new opportunities in a new location.

New career – new beginning:  It is an exciting time and place to be in one. Maybe I’m too naive to be so optimistic, but I look forward to a successful career that will give me an opportunity to interact with people and provide a very valuable service to them.  As I work on my real estate web site, I see opportunities to help others in new places and new beginnings.  So, my hat is off to all those who are also in new careers, new relationships, new beginnings, new places of starting over and new opportunities.  May your future be as bright.

©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)


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It is so odd to parent teenagers. Their maniacal mood swings create for some incredible drama.  A parent can go from being the best dad/mom to the worst parent ever in milliseconds.  When I give permission for my daughter to do something she wants to do, I get hugs and smiles and a giggly girl excited about life.  However, if I decide that what she is asking permission to do is not permissible or that she must obediently follow-up on something I requested or required her to do, then I become an unthinking, ugly ogre who has no more sense than an aphid and my beautiful girl turns into an unrecognizably grouchy and surly carbon-based life form.

The parent of a teenager can exhibit all the brilliance of Einstein and still not be recognized for any measurable contribution to his/her child’s well-being the same said child. My teenage son can bounce into the room, ask for my opinion about something, presumably because of my 21 years of education and life experience, and then turn around and do just the opposite.  This, of course, leaves me completely dumbfounded, especially when I become blamed for the outcome in spite of the fact that my counsel was exactly opposite of his own chosen course of action.  It is still my fault in some sort of vicarious way.

It is amazing how a child’s perspectives about his/her parent can change on the flip of a dime. When they are going well, according to their desires and plans, the parent is all-loving, all-wise and full of beneficence.  When things are not going so well, then the same parent – in the twinkling of an eye – becomes the vicious judge of their world, the destroyer of happiness and the cause of all the world’s ills.  The jump between these two emotive universes can happen several times in the same day.  It is as if the child is a being who is able to live in parallel universes and able to jump between the two at will.  Or, perhaps, they really are two different children who keep swapping places with each other between their good/bad universes.  The problem for the parent is never knowing what child they will wake up to in the morning or which one they are addressing at the dinner table.

Ancient Mayan Architecture, Chichen Itza, July 2003

Ancient Mayan Architecture, Chichen Itza, July 2003 ©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

If all this sounds ridiculously twisted, imagine how God must feel toward his human creatures. We tend to treat him in much the same manner as hormonal teenagers.  When life is going well, God is good!  When life is going bad, God is distant, deaf and demanding our blood.  When it appears he answers our prayers the way we want them answered, then God is to be praised.  However, when it appears he has declined to hear our prayers or gives what appears to be a resounding “No!” to them, then he is to be neglected and ignored.

One of the outcomes of my disobedience toward God is not only how I view my self but also how I view God. It affects my perspective of him.  Sin twists my perspective of God to where he no longer is “Our heavenly Father” but my condemning judge.  My perspective changes from one that sees God as for me to God as opposed to me.  He becomes, instead of the giver of life, the destroyer of life.  My twisted perspective then affects how I look at worship, church, the Bible, Christian leaders and fellow Christians.  How I believe God sees me becomes tainted.

This twisted perspective happens on a larger group or national level too. When the economy is robust and our jobs are good, then God has definitely blessed America.  However, when a disaster strikes or the economy tanks and we lose our jobs, then God is accused of not really being loving, caring and all-powerful.  After all, thinking like hormonal teenagers, if God really loved us, cared and was all-powerful, then he would always side with us; he would always say “Yes!” to our requests; and life would have no disappointments or pain.

The duty of the mature adult parent is to be the emotionally stable one when surrounded by the unsteady tides of teenage angst. It does not serve any purpose when the one who is supposed to be the adult acts just as emotionally immature as the teenager.  Of course, for an exhausted and frustrated human parent, this is not always the way it works out.  Even we have our limits and the worst comes out of us.

Fortunately, God does not have such human limits. He is the perfect parent who loves and acts with consistency.  He is the heavenly Father who does not change his perspective towards us no matter how much ours might change towards him.  When we are unfaithful, he remains faithful.  Even when we are in the position of a prodigal child, he remains the loving father waiting and hoping for his child to return to his/her senses and return home.  His perspective of us remains true even when ours gets twisted by our rebellious, deceiving hearts.  He sees us clearly with eyes of love while we view his character and nature dimly through suspicious eyes.

The hope that every parent of a teenager has is that one day they will mature and “grow out of” their emotionally unstable ways. I wonder if our heavenly Father does not wish the same thing for us who call our selves his children.  I often chide my children with saying, “I can’t wait until you grow up and get old enough so I can get smart again.”  For, in almost every case, the child in later life will look back over the years and say to him/her self, “You know, my parents sure knew what they were talking about.”  This is every parent’s reward and justification.

Until that time, it will remain the duty of every parent of a teenager to be the unmovable rock in the changing tide. This stability will be seen as unreasonable, demanding and unjustified.  However, it is exactly what is needed at this time in a teenager’s life.  It is also exactly what we need from our heavenly Father:  stability in an ocean of changing values.  So, let us caution our selves when our vision of God becomes twisted by the fortunes or misfortunes of life.  Let us untwist our perspective into the right one:  God does not change; we do.

©Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

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Mayan Temple at Chichen Itza, July 2003

Mayan Temple at Chichen Itza, July 2003 © Weatherstone/Ron Almberg, Jr. (2010)

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