As shocked as Bishnu Aryal was to find out his dream home was a “half house”, at least he’s not alone.
There are two other houses, just a stone’s throw from Mr Aryal’s $721,000 home, that likewise only have three walls with windows.
The fourth wall on each house is a grey windowless slab that looks as if it should be the dividing wall between two units of a duplex – except the next door unit doesn’t exist.
“It looks so weird,” one neighbour in the Sydney suburb of Edmondson Park said of Mr Aryal‘s home.
Since Mr Aryal told the television show A Current Affair about his predicament, the story of his half-house has become a viral sensation.
He told the program he was so shocked when he saw what the builders had done he nearly fainted.
On Thursday evening, he stood chatting with neighbours as his son played in the dry weeds that cover the neighbouring lot.
“There’s been a lot of emails, messages and calls with sympathy and empathy in the last few days,” he said.
“But nobody has been able to help.”
He said he feels cheated by the builder and had no idea that what he thought would be a stand-alone house would turn out this way.
The builder, Zac Homes, has acknowledged “it‘s a mess” and said they will try to work out a solution with the council.
The company said the people who own the lot next door didn’t want to proceed with building their part of the duplex.
It wasn’t clear if Zac Homes built the other two “half houses” as well, but neighbours said they assumed they did because the buildings look so similar.
A Google Street View image taken in November 2020 shows a ute emblazoned with Zac Homes’ logo parked outside one of the other half houses.
They’re both on the street that’s parallel to the one where Mr Aryal lives.
Neither appeared to be occupied as of Thursday, though neighbours said they were built months ago.
One of them looks a lot like Mr Aryal’s house – 50 per cent of a duplex, with a windowless fourth wall facing an empty lot.
The third half house, a few doors down, is harder to spot, because a stand-alone house has been built on the adjoining lot that makes the flat wall less visible and jarring.
“You would have thought they were going to build the other half of the house, but instead they just fill it in with like, an ordinary house, which seems really unusual,” a neighbour said.
“I’m assuming it’s done by some garbage builder.”
Like many neighbours, the man was amused by the situation but sympathetic and wished there was something that could be done for Mr Aryal.
Mr Aryal said he was trying to get legal advice and was hoping he could find someone who would help him pro bono, since he had spent his savings on the home.
“There’s not another house in Australia like this one,” he said.
“Well, except those other two.”