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Our Company

You can hire any real estate brokerage and take Your chances or, you can hire COMMON GROUND PROPERTIES and BUY WITH CONFIDENCE. No funny business. No Conflicts of Interest.

Through our network of Local Partners, we offer Buyers an incredible buying experience. We are designed to operate with a collection of neighborhood Local Partners comprised of leading REALTORS® who are uniquely qualified to address the needs and opportunities in their local community. We select our Local Partners from most of the various top Real Estate Brokerages in the specific communities. We ‘vet’ and appoint the Best of the Best.

We have an exceptional, hand-selected senior management team with years of experience in real estate. Real Estate at the local level is unique and varied.

COMMON GROUND PROPERTIES embraces local knowledge and is supported by the latest technology, powerful marketing and advertising usually reserved for much larger companies. Southern California has varying neighborhood personalities. So, while we serve all of Southern California, we’ve taken it a step further to insure we deliver ‘localized’ real estate. This is one of many things that set us apart from ANY of our competitors. It’s our intent to Exceed Your Expectations.

We believe neighborhood knowledge is a top factor in real estate marketing, and we know our communities well. In addition to our local relationships, we have an ability to reach International marketplaces through our International Partners.

We keep it simple. We work with both SELLERS and BUYERS – but, in uniquely different ways.

Markets vary from neighborhood–to–neighborhood. National real estate trends are not necessarily Southern California trends. We can’t control the market (or the weather, sorry about that), but we can control the depth and timeliness of knowledge we provide, giving you every advantage in a constantly shifting market.

At COMMON GROUND PROPERTIES, we are passionate about delivering exceptional consumer experiences. By offering a complete suite of real estate services, we ensure that we meet our consumers’ every need. From sales and Investment Properties, to mortgage, and title insurance, we have or work with experts in every field to guide you skillfully from beginning to the end of your real estate journey.

Our outstanding track record, unique brand promise, and exceptional agent support system attract top talent, ensuring that our team of experts represents the very best in the industry. We believe that access to the best and most timely information can dramatically shape our decisions. Today’s consumer needs a trusted resource that can separate signal from noise and help them navigate the complex process that real estate has become. With our extensive knowledge in every aspect of the field, and fueled by consumer research and insights, we are the go-to source for information and education.

Our website – COMMONGROUNDPROPERTIES.COM, serves as a singular destination where consumers can search properties and access the most current market information. As committed to growth and innovation as we are to our Clients we are the exclusive source for the Common Ground Certified Home™ our groundbreaking, Consumer Friendly marketing feature that sets Our Client’s homes apart from other homes for sale.

We Have a Lot In Common.

For more information, CONTACT US today.

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Our Founders

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Stephen O’Hara

CEO / Broker – CRB®, CRS®, ARB®, SRES®

I LOVE Southern California and the incredible lifestyle it provides. Where else can you live and be close to the beach, mountains, and the desert? To see if I could visit all three places in one day, I had breakfast at the beach, lunch at a ski resort in Big Bear, dinner in Palm Springs, and I visited Los Angeles for cocktails and dancing at night!

Our scenery is spectacular, and our Mediterranean climate sublime, with average daytime temperatures in the 70’s and ‘sweater’ weather at night! I love to welcome people to ‘my’ Southern California.

Homes have incredible views; the ocean, mountains (snowcapped in the winter), twinkling city lights, and a rich, cosmopolitan skyline, and my list goes on. I’m all things Southern California and 100% consumer-centric; I never ‘sell’ my clients, I don’t need to – ‘SoCal’ is a WOW! and people buy that lifestyle.

What you see is what you get with me. I believe in transparency. No surprises. I’ve always been a leader, not a follower, which is how I have earned lifetime achievement accolades. I have the distinction of being #14 for sales from among 106,000 agents worldwide and one of the only twenty-five agents to feature in the book ‘Billion Dollar Agent’ (Kantor).

Did you notice the alphabet soup of initials after my name? They indicate the professional designations and certifications I’ve earned along the way. I am a perpetual student because I believe there’s always something new to learn!

My lifetime learning in sales started at age 12 when I was featured on the TV News Shows as America’s youngest entrepreneur. To get to know me better, click here for my back-story or give me a call, text, or email – I can’t wait to share ‘my’ Southern California with you.

Stephen’s dynamic back-story!

At age 12, Stephen O’Hara was named one of America’s youngest entrepreneurs and appeared on television News Shows. He drove a Lincoln Continental in high school. At age 16 became legally emancipated to run his string of car dealerships! Stephen coined the phrase ‘pre-owned car’ long before it became the buzz-words of the automotive industry.

1980 he was named to the ‘Franchise 500’ list by Entrepreneur magazine. Never content to rest on his laurels, Stephen continues to re-invent himself and the way he does business. When he received the RE/MAX® Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, he was also stunned to learn that he ranked #14 from amongst the 106,000 RE/MAX agents worldwide.

He is often asked to share his story. He is happy to acquiesce, explaining that his life’s work is one of passion, unconditional love, patience, and a history of turning ‘scars into stars.’ With a career sales total of over One Billion Dollars, Stephen was propelled into real estate sales history when he became one of only 25 REALTORS® to be featured in the popular book, BILLION DOLLAR AGENT (Kantor).

Stephen has paid his dues. He has started and owned businesses on both a local and national level, including several national brand real estate offices. He recruited and mentored more than five hundred Associates. Stephen has a strong sense of marketing and communications skills. His academic background includes law and accounting, as well as a strong background in franchise/licensing. He has an unwavering belief that success follows when you take care of the consumer. It is the cornerstone of his entire business career. And, it has worked.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Stephen:

“I have three major passions in my life – God, then my family, and then Real Estate. I’m blessed and delighted to have been able to combine all three. I’ve learned that life can only be ‘lived forward’ and understood backward, which is why I believe we learn more from our adversities than from our successes. I have faith in God and in the knowledge that ‘nothing’ is the end of the world and that I’m served best by moving forward. I learn from my mistakes and move on. I am purpose-driven, and I’m passionate about what I do.”

Stephen is a visionary who provides a vital link between the administrative and marketing/sales functions. He excels in being able to think and communicate in two very distinct styles: globally and linearly. It is that extraordinary ability to take lofty visions and bring them down to earth, making him an invaluable resource. Strategic planning wrapped in wisdom and understanding is the talent for which Stephen is best known.

Stephen openly shares the secret of his success: “Be passionate about what you do, serve the consumer like they were your own ‘Mom’ and success will follow!”

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Ashley (O’Hara) Skalsky

Broker – REALTOR®

When I was eighteen years old, my father handed me the keys to a property in Laguna Niguel, and I oversaw my first flip! I was immediately hooked! In 2005 I became a licensed real estate agent and a second-generation REALTOR®.

My father, Stephen, is a Real Estate Broker, ranked 14th in sales worldwide from 106,000 agents. He has trained and mentored hundreds of agents, and training with him was an opportunity too good to miss. I also learned and embraced a similar work ethic and his ethos of caring for clients as if they were family.

In 2008, the real estate landscape became one of short-sales and foreclosures. Like others, I decided to pivot my career. I attended CSUF and earned my degree and teaching credential while maintaining my real estate license.

That life curveball allowed me to delve into a rewarding teaching career. I was a volunteer for ‘Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Orange County,’ so stepping into a room of teenagers didn’t faze me. I’ve never laughed more, cried harder, and experienced such unconditional love until I had kids of my own.

My son was born early and spent several weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Nine months later, my daughter arrived early, also resulting in a NICU stay. With two NICU babies, I learned to adapt and to become adept at multi-tasking. I love solving problems; I’m told it is one of my strengths, which I believe more than outweighs my weakness of never letting go of a problem until it is solved!

With a growing family, my husband and I rented our home and brought a second, larger property. I again pursued my real estate career, and I’m excited to partner with my father under our brokerage ‘Common Ground Properties.’

I’m earning my Brokers’ license while wearing the hats of wife, mom, teacher, homeowner, Realtor®, and investor! Real Estate gives me the freedom to do what I love while pursuing long-term financial security. Best of all – I get to help others experience that too!

To get to know me better, click here for my full back-story or give me a call, text, or email – I’d love to take you on your next real estate trip!

Ashley’s back-story:

Avoiding any spoilers (in case you have never read Into the Wild), Christopher McCandless escapes humanity in search of happiness, only to discover that it’s one byproduct of the human connection. To share experiences, good and bad, with others, relive the experience over again, with a little grit and a vast amount of humility.

My story began in real Estate, then took a detour into teaching Secondary English and directing multiple high school theatre programs. Now, my story is bound in a book of empty, crisp pages, still to be written. These next chapters are reserved for the next normal: navigating life after a pandemic, two toddlers , a puppy and my husband the deeply valued bookend to my life and someone who shares an affinity for adventure, spontaneous travel, and memorable food.

At 18 years old, my dad hands me the keys to a property in Laguna Niguel. I stand in the driveway of the Mediterranean style home and think to myself, “If this is what real Estate is…I want to do that.” I proceed inside to check on the work that has been done. The chaos of contractors running in and out of the home, the smell of fresh paint, the sounds of saws cutting into fresh cedar wood, and the construction dust all over my black outfit and black heels is exactly what I knew I was meant to do… at least for now. I enjoyed serving clients (who I am grateful to call good friends of mine, still.) and helping them with their investments and growing needs.

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