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YOUR FIRST HOME

April 25, 2002  Section J

What a feeling!

BY VALERIE HAUCH

Canadian Dream

For South Asian electronic magazine publisher Suresh Jaura and his wife, Renu, buying a first home had a special meaning. The Indian-born couple had come from Dubai, where they were forbidden to own property.

 

Buying his first home had an added thrill for Suresh Jaura, a real estate broker and publisher and managing editor of a monthly electronic magazine called South Asian Outlook (www.SouthAsianOutlook.com ).

 

Jaura was born in India but was living and working in Dubai before he came to Canada in 1987.

 

“Foreigners cannot own property there. You cannot buy a house,” says Jaura. “It was so nice to be in Canada and to be able to buy a home – it is good to have a home of your own.”

 

He notices, as a real estate broker, this same pride in ownership amongst other immigrant first-time buyers, especially those from the Gulf countries where there are rules against foreigners owning any property.

 

Plus, homes in Canada, he notes, are a more affordable dream than in some South Asian countries “where people pay for the home with cash down, or at the most in instalments over five to seven years. Here they can buy a place with a small down payment and are able to spread their payments over 25 years if they wish to.”

 

Immigrants “understand that paying rent is like paying somebody else’s mortgage,” says Jaura.

 

After arriving in Canada, Jaura and his wife, Renu, and their two children, aged 12 and 10 at the time, rented an apartment for about six months. Then they bought a detached two-storey, three-bedroom home in Markham for just under $ 200,000. The price was reasonable and they were drawn to the “quiet area” and the fact the house was a short walk from a bus stop.

 

They liked the layout of the house, which allowed them more space than in the apartment, and there was a backyard and space in front where their children could play.

 

But the Jauras only stayed for about 16 months – they had to move to accommodate the arrival of Suresh’s mother. They relocated to a large house in Etobicoke, which is closer to Jaura’s real estate workplace.

 

Since buying his own first home, Jaura has become involved with an ancient Indian concept called Vaastu – akin to Feng Shui – the principles of which are meant to help a person pick a home or business that is properly planned, designed and constructed.

 

With existing homes, the interior can sometimes be altered structurally, of by realigning furniture so that living will be more harmonious, says Jaura, who has designed a Web site which explains Vaastu (www.vaastu.net).

 

He has applied the principles to his own home to create the most propitious atmosphere by, amongst other changes, placing his sofa and loveseat to face the east and north, and redoing the kitchen so that when they cook they are facing east.

 
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