Service disabled retired US Navy Chief Petty Officer, Joel Kornbluth, is the owner and operator of arK Property Investments. Kornbluth designs and builds beautiful, modern, and affordable homes that meet the unique needs of American families.
With an internal calling to serve his country, Joel Kornbluth joined the United States Navy on November 15, 1994.
“The military gave me the opportunity to travel, receive an education, and learn a trade,” he explained.
He spent his first four years in Japan and then seven in Hawaii.
“Hawaii is where my life started,” he explained. In 2000, a mutual friend introduced him to Jessica, his now wife, Jessica. Only a year after meeting, the couple tied the knot on July 10, 2001. Jessica was an E5 Mess Specialist in the NAVY, also stationed in Hawaii. They spent seven years in Hawaii, before new orders sent them to San Diego in 2005, just a short time before their son Arthur was born.
Kornbluth spent the remainder of his career stationed in California, but spent much time deployed to the Middle East. From 2006 to 2007 he was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq.
“I’m a computer nerd,” he joked. While deployed he was stationed in the Baghdad National Airport as a Radio Operator, receiving incoming calls day in and day out about countless casualties. “My memories of combat will live with me for the rest of my life.”
His deployments continued. He spent 3 years on the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), he spent a year in Afghanistan and also a year and 5 months in Bahrain.
In 2015, Kornbluth and his wife retired from the US Navy, Kornbluth as a Chief Petty Officer and his wife as a Petty Officer 1st Class.
Like many other veterans, Kornbluth struggled greatly with adjusting to civilian life.
“I felt kind of lost. I didn’t know what to do with myself.”
After 20 years working with computers, Kornbluth did not want to dedicate his second career to technology as well. He considered becoming a mortgage broker, but didn’t have time to pursue that career. He asked his wife, “What should I do with my life?” She suggested that he take his hobby of 14 years – real estate investing – and turn it into a career. Together, they created arK Property Investments LLC, where Kornbluth can again serve his country by providing quality homes to its citizens.
Kornbluth was deeply disappointed in the quality of housing available to civilians.
“I feel that people are getting jipped everywhere,” he expressed. “I’m just not happy with the quality of homes in the United States.”
After all, he had traveled the world and seen better quality homes in places like Dubai and Bahrain being built for less than they are here in the United States. One of the reasons Kornbluth created arK Property Investments LLC was to begin fixing this type of inequality in American housing.
Kornbluth reached out to resources including Reboot, SCORE, and the VA Accelerator Program to help him achieve his business goals. Reboot helped advise him on how to set-up his business, who to contact, how to structure his business, how to create his business plan, etc. His SCORE advisor helped advise him on the building industry. The VA Accelerator Program helped him launch and grow his business.
The houses of North Dakota were particularly frustrating for Kornbluth, as he found that these homes were not built to handle the difficult weather conditions.
“They build junk because they are built quickly and inexpensively, and they over charge for the product,” he said. Due to the weather, the building cycle in North Dakota is really only four months long. So builders take short cuts, build quickly, and over charge.
He knew he could create a better product, capable of handling the unique weather, and so he met with various architects to design homes that would meet those specific needs.
Kornbluth’s home designs offer clean lines and a modern minimalist style that fits the rapidly growing North Dakota population, and his business is doing exceptionally well.
Kornbluth has spent the last two years finding the creative solutions to the problems in the current housing market and designing the ideal home for life in North Dakota. His first home is almost complete and he will begin taking orders soon. He dreams of seeing all of his home designs built and enjoyed by families all over the state.