It is the epicenter of the foreclosure and subprime crises, and it never was a great nabe to begin with. Basically, most of the houses were old 1 family frames many converted to legal and illegal two family frame, but not really ever taken care of with love. The people who bought many of these houses were often decent people, but their kids often like to hang out, and the poor local schools- like Jamaica High School, reflect that. There is a cluster of activity at Jamaica center- where the E and F trains intersect the LIRR and the Light Rail to JFK, but aside from that section, most of Jamaica I would avoid. For a little more money, you can get a much nicer nabe- with better schools, better parks, better houses, and better youngsters.
Survey says: X-X-X
Jamaica Queens is a nice area, great shopping and most recently has become one of New York City's great
transportation hubs ( LIRR, Airtrain, subways). Great homes in the area , some better than others but this is not unique to Jamaica Queens.
Definately would recommend .