When you’re shopping for a new home, you’re not just buying a property, you’re also “buying” into the neighborhood. So, it’s a smart idea to get to know the neighborhood before you consider purchasing a home.

There are many ways to do that. Here are the easiest three:

1. Check MLS. The Multiple Listing Service system provides a wealth of information about a neighborhood, including demographics, noise levels, distance to shopping and other amenities, local schools, and more.

2. Walk the area. You can really get a feel for a neighborhood by walking around and exploring. So, get out of your car and stroll along the streets. Experience the look, feel, and vibe of the area firsthand.

3. Talk to a local homeowner. Someone who knows the neighborhood can give you insights that go beyond the data. They can give you a true sense of what it’s like to live there.

If you find you like the area, then you’re halfway to finding a house you’ll love.