About Us

Live Local Realty was formed in April 2013 by John Dinehart, Laurie Palmer, and Maria Blackmer. Combined, we have over 45 years of experience in selling real estate in Ionia County. In addition, we are all lifelong residents of the area. We were all raised here, graduated from Ionia High School and returned to raise our own families in Ionia. To say we know the area is an understatement!

In 2021, our Traverse City location was opened in The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. With Kelly Leipprandt as the managing broker there, we look forward to growth and involvement in that market as well!

Live Local Realty was born on a dream of creating a small “boutique” real estate firm that gets back to the basics of real estate with an emphasis on personal interaction and care.

Strong knowledge of area

Creative and consistent marketing

Great customer service

Frequent community involvement

Group marketing available


Live Local, Sell Local, Give Local!

Our Team

Laurie Palmer

Real Estate Agent

Laurie has been selling real estate since 2004. She specializes in traditional home sales and has a strong background in the REO market. She is a lifelong resident of the area and currently resides in Ionia with her husband, Cale, and her three sons: Collin, Jaxon, and Crew. She is active in the community with Sts. Peter and Paul School, Ionia Chamber of Commerce, and Ionia Free Fair. She spends much of her spare time attending the numerous sporting events of her boys. In addition, she enjoys reading, camping, and spending time with friends and family. Feel free to contact Laurie anytime at laurie@livelocal-realty.com or at 616.902.2192.

John Dinehart

Real Estate Agent

John has been selling real estate since 1998. He has consistently been one of the top agents in Ionia County for most of his career. He specializes in traditional home sales and vacant land. He has a strong background in the agricultural market. He is a lifelong resident of the area and currently resides in Ionia with his two girls: Ellie and Rylie. He is active in the community with Rotary, Ionia Chamber of Commerce, and Ionia Athletics. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, hunting, and spending time with his family and friends. Feel free to contact John anytime at john@livelocal-realty.com or at 616.813.8972.

Maria Blackmer

Real Estate Agent

Maria has been selling real estate since 2000. She specializes in traditional home sales as well as property management. She is a lifelong resident of the area and currently resides in Ionia with her husband, Tim. Her children: Nicholas, Rachael and Hunter are grown. She is active in the community as a Board Member for RAVE, Fundraising committee for RAVE and an Ambassador for Ionia Chamber of Commerce. In her spare time, she enjoys, running, camping up north, boating and spending time with friends and family. Feel free to contact Maria anytime at maria@livelocal-realty.com or at 616-902-1501

Conrad Campbell

Real Estate Agent

It is with excitement and anticipation that I have decided to join the Live Local Realty team. I will continue to serve my clients and customers with dedication and integrity like I have been doing for the last 14 years as a real estate agent. I have been in the Ionia community since 1990 when I moved from Canada with my wife Kristine and our 5 children. We have definitely made our home in Ionia, and I am ready to serve you with all your real estate needs. Buy or Sell call Conrad Campbell 616 902-2265 text or email conrad@livelocal-realty.com

Shelby Newhouse

Real Estate Agent

Shelby is a newly licensed real estate agent living and working in Traverse City! Shelby and her husband, Mitch, both grew up in the Traverse City area (Go TC West Titans!). They are expecting their first daughter in June and love exploring all Northern Michigan has to offer. Shelby is a triathlete and loves to swim, run, bike, and hike.

Shelby is very excited to help her clients find their own home, whether it be their first home, a second vacation home, or their dream waterfront property. Find your new house with Shelby Newhouse! She has a knack for understanding her clients needs and wants, and prioritizing their wishes above all else. She also loves to help her clients through the selling process. Her optimism and positive energy help ease stress and provide for smooth transactions.

Although, she is new to the real estate field, with a last name like that who better to help with all your real estate needs! Contact her at 231.218.9810 or Shelby@livelocal-realty.com

Kara Gelven

Real Estate Agent

Kara is our newest agent. She has been purchasing investment properties since 2016 and decided it was time to help others buy and sell their properties, weather it is their forever home, vacation home, or investment property.
Kara and her husband live in downtown Traverse City with their three young kids. They absolutely love downtown life and ease of walking to all the local beaches, parks, and restaurants.
In her free time, Kara enjoys stand up paddle boarding, searching for Petoskey stones on the shore of Lake Michigan, hiking the Sleeping Bear Dunes, and exploring all of Northern Michigan’s wineries and breweries. Kara is looking forward to helping you buy or sell you next dream property. Get in contact with Kara by emailing her at kara@livelocal-realty.com or calling 231.632.5448. 

Doug Hansen

Real Estate Agent

Doug has been involved in sales for the past ten years. He has prior experience in residential construction and agricultural. Doug has lived in the Belding/Greenville area his entire life. Currently he lives in Greenville with his wife Jeana. He enjoys hunting, fishing and being involved in athletics with his two sons. Feel free to contact Doug at 616-894-9788 or doug@livelocal-realty.com.

Tim Swain

Real Estate Agent

I’m very excited to join the Live Local Realty Team. Their giving back to and involvement with the local community is near and dear to me and is one of the many reasons I chose to join their team. Outside of the 3 years spent serving in the U.S. Army, Ionia has been home for most of my life where I am currently residing with my wife Irma. Our son Tim is living and working out of state. In my spare time I enjoy officiating basketball and lacrosse and am an avid hunter. 

It would be with great honor that you trust me with your future real estate needs. Being your single largest purchase in life this can be both stressful and enjoyable. Surrounded by our fantastic team, I will do my best to make it more enjoyable, and stress free as possible. 

Feel free to contact me anytime, call or text 616-902-1530 Email:  tswain@livelocal-realty.com

Haley Zwerk

Real Estate Agent

Haley has held her real estate license since 2019 and has been involved with investment properties and property management since then.  Her background in accounting combined with her passion for real estate and design allow her to share a different perspective while viewing real estate with clients.  She is excited to help guide you through the home buying process and can’t wait to share a slice of Northern Michigan with you.

In her spare time, Haley enjoys sipping a glass of wine at Shady Lane,  strolling through local antique shops, hitting the farmers market on a Saturday morning, hanging out at the lake, and spending time with family and friends.  Haley resides in Traverse City with her husband, Tyler and goldendoodle Sebastian. Feel free to reach Haley at (989) 882-3738 or Haley@livelocal-realty.com.

Rick Poole

Real Estate Agent

I have enjoyed selling real estate for 5 years as a buyer’s agent. I am excited to make the transition to a full service Realtor with the Live Local team! I have enjoyed their professionalism, success, and community mindedness over the years.
I reside in Ionia with my wife, Kim and together we operate the Union Hill Bed & Breakfast. In my spare time, I enjoy golfing, bowling, traveling, and meeting new people at our bed & breakfast.
I look forward to assisting you with all of your real estate needs!

Heather Wolcott

Real Estate Agent

Heather has been a resident of Ionia since 1993, and although not growing up here this community has become her home where her friends have become family and she has had the privilege of raising her 3 children here. She has been very active in the community through the schools, the chamber, and in promoting small businesses here as well. Her youngest child is now graduating and she is super excited about starting a new adventure in real estate. She has worked as a contract administrator in the excavating/construction industry for the past 27 years and will use that knowledge to help future clients with a smooth transaction of buying or selling. “I am thrilled to be working with such a great team of realtor’s here at Live Local and look forward to building many more lasting relationships while helping others fulfill their home ownership dreams.” Please contact me at any time on my cell at 616-706-6605 or by email at heather@livelocal-realty.com