David, since it doesn't appear you are familiar with the neighborhoods you are interested in, I would highly recommend you find and work with an Agent if you don't have one now. And not because I am one.
Some make the mistake by going it alone and making a lot of mistakes by relying on bad information they may come across.
Oh and if you decide to hire an Agent to hlep with your search and purchase, speak to more than one agent you'll get an idea if they are looking out for your best interest or their own.
CCS Realty, LLC
New Orleans, La
Licensed in the State of Louisiana