Moving to Hammond

Welcome to the ride of a lifetime as you embark on your decision to move to Hammond, IN. A once humble industrial city that has now morphed into a captivating blend of cultural diversity, stunning parks, and vibrant community life. To help make this transition less daunting, we've crafted this detailed guide to help you embrace all the little quirks and big perks this great city has to offer. After all, relocating is not just about changing addresses, it's about joining a whole new community. So, fasten your seatbelts and let's set the course for your great Hammond adventure.

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What to Know Before Moving to Hammond

1. Hoosier Hospitality

You've heard of it, and yes, it's definitely a thing. People in Hammond, Indiana, are incredibly friendly, welcoming, and eager to help newcomers get settled in. Whether you're lost and need directions, or want an insider's recommendation for the best pizza in town, feel free to ask any local. With Midwest warmth flowing in every corner, Hammond might just charm you into calling it home!

2. Proximity to the Windy City

One of the major perks of living in Hammond is its close proximity to Chicago. Just 20 miles away, it's far enough to avoid big city drawbacks yet close enough to enjoy its benefits. A quick drive or a convenient South Shore train ride will lead you right into the heart of Chicago's theatres, shopping hubs, art galleries, and more. Still, coming back to Hammond means retiring to the tranquillity of a smaller town.

3. Wolf Lake Wonderland

Did you know that Hammond is home to Wolf Lake, a bi-state body of water shared with Illinois? This hidden gem is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy fishing, boating, bird-watching, and an array of water sports. Plus, the annual Festival of the Lakes brings five days of live entertainment, food vendors, carnival rides, and fishing derbies.

4. Industrial History and a Futuristic Vision

Hammond's historical roots lie in the industrial sector, and it continues to hold onto its 'steel city' nickname thanks to the still-operative steel mills. However, it doesn't stop there. The town constantly strives to adapt and grow, with ongoing urban development projects aiming to boost the economy and quality of life. Hammond may be small, but it dreams big!

5. Intriguing Public Art Scene

Prepare to be surprised by the vibrant public art scene! An initiative called "Art in Hammond" promotes the city's cultural heritage with murals, sculptures, and whimsical installations popping up around town. So, you might just stumble upon a playful splash of color on the side of a building, a thought-provoking sculpture in a park, or a historical mural paying tribute to the city's industrious past while strolling around.

6. Hammond's Own: Pierogi Fest

Yes, you read it right! Hammond hosts an annual Pierogi Fest -- a parade and street party of sorts, celebrating Eastern European cuisine in all its glory. If you're wondering about the correlation, Hammond's population has a strong Polish, Slovak, and Hungarian influence, and they're proud of it. The Pierogi Fest, quirky and delightful, realizes the perfect blend of community spirit and foodie fascination.

Moving to a new city always has its adventure and challenges. But armed with some good-to-know facts, you can make an informed decision. So if you're considering Hammond, you're looking at a city that's small yet spirited, traditional yet progressive, and above all, welcoming to all. Don't forget your appetite for pierogis and your love for public art!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Hammond

Pros of Living in Hammond

Abundance of Recreational Activities

Hammond is situated near the southern coast of Lake Michigan, providing ample opportunities for water activities. The city is also home to several parks, trails, and golf courses offering plenty of options for staying active.

Excellent Transport Connections

The South Shore Line railway provides a convenient connection to Chicago, making Hammond a great location for daily commuting. Additionally, multiple interstates run through or near the city, creating easy access for road travel.

Rich History and Culture

Hammond boasts a rich history that can be explored through its many historical sites and museums. The city also hosts numerous cultural and music festivals throughout the year, offering a vibrant local culture to its residents.

Affordable Cost of Living

Compared to many other areas in the region, Hammond offers a more affordable cost of living. From housing to grocery and utilities, residents generally find their needs and lifestyle can be accommodated comfortably.

Access to Education

With campuses for both Purdue University Northwest and Indiana University Northwest in close proximity, Hammond offers great access to education. Additionally, the city has a number of public and private schools offering quality education for families with children.

Cons of Living in Hammond


Winters in Hammond can be harsh with cold temperatures and significant snowfall. This can make commuting and day-to-day activities more challenging during the winter months.

Population Decline and Aging Infrastructure

Over the years, Hammond has experienced some population decline, leading to aging and underutilized infrastructure. This can lead to a feeling of stagnancy in parts of the city.

Crime Rates

While the city has made efforts to reduce crime, crime rates in Hammond remain relatively high in comparison to some other cities in Indiana. Potential residents may need to consider safety concerns when choosing their neighborhood.

Limited High-End Amenities

While Hammond offers many necessities and recreational options, it may not provide the same abundance of high-end dining, shopping, and entertainment options found in larger cities.

Industrial Landscape

With its history as a steel and manufacturing town, Hammond retains a mainly industrial landscape. While this offers certain job opportunities, it can also lead to concerns around pollution and property aesthetics.

Modern day picture of Hammond, IN highlighting pros and cons of living in Hammond, IN

Is Hammond a Good Place to Live?

Hammond, IN is a great place to live because it offers a blend of fascinating historical attractions, enjoys close proximity to Chicago and is home to interesting places like the SPLAT Lab and the Challenger Learning Center. Furthermore, its local community is known for a strong sense of camaraderie, translating into exciting community events year-round. It not only offers a slower pace of life but also provides easy access to urban amenities due to its strategic location in the Chicago metropolitan area.

What Is Hammond Famous For?

Jean Shepherd

Hammond, Indiana is the childhood home of iconic radio personality, storyteller, writer, and actor, Jean Shepherd. He is most famously known for his semi-autobiographical stories about growing up in the Midwest, most notably seen in the classic holiday film "A Christmas Story," which was partly based on Shepherd's experiences growing up in Hammond.

Whiting Refinery

One of the largest oil refineries in the United States, the Whiting Refinery, is located in Hammond. The sprawling facility, operated by BP, plays a significant role in the economy of the region, representing a large part of Hammond's industrial heritage and continuing to be a major employer in the area.

The Towle Theater

The Towle Theater in downtown Hammond has been a performance staple for nearly a century. Established in 1921, it started as a cinema but has gradually transformed into a center for performing arts, hosting a wide array of musicals, plays, and cultural events that enrich the city's arts scene.

Hammond's Historical Horseshoe Casino

For those with a love of games of chance, Hammond is home to Horseshoe Casino. Not just a hub for gambling, the casino also includes a range of dining experiences, entertainment, and even has a marina. With a 108,000 square feet gaming space, it is one of the largest casinos in the Midwest.

Capital building of Hammond, IN in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the property tax rate in Hammond, Indiana is approximately 2.8%. This rate is comparatively high when evaluated against the national average, which sits around 1.07%.

Sales Tax

The sales tax in Hammond, IN, is set to 7% in the year 2023. Comparatively, this is on par with the national median rate of 6.9% for combined state and local sales taxes.

Income Tax

Indiana maintains a flat state income tax rate of 3.23% in 2023. This straightforward approach to income taxes contrasts with the progressive tax system seen in most other states in the U.S. Furthermore, residents of Hammond also pay a local income tax of 1.5%, bringing their combined income tax rate to 4.73%.

Housing Market

The Hammond, IN housing market offers affordability compared to other cities in the US. The median home value stands at $132,400, significantly lower than the national median of $248,857. For renters, the median monthly rent is approximately $900, again favorable compared to the national average of $1,062. Despite being part of the Chicago metro area, the cost of living in Hammond is 85.2% of the national average. Although real estate appreciation is below the national average, it provides a less volatile and affordable entry into homeownership or rental investments.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Hammond, Indiana, currently ranks below the national average, making it notably economical in comparison to other cities. While housing costs are the primary contributors to this lower cost of living, healthcare, utilities, and grocery expenses also fall below the national average. This relative affordability contributes to a growing appeal among those looking for lower living costs without compromising on quality of life. Nevertheless, personal income in Hammond is lower than the U.S. average, which can influence the overall perceived affordability of Hammond as a residential choice.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Hammond, Indiana experiences a continental climate with typically hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The average temperatures range from 21degF in the winter to around 84degF in the summer. The city gets about 38 inches of rain and 28 inches of snow annually, distributed relatively evenly throughout the year. Thunderstorms are common during the warmer months, often accompanied by strong winds and occasional hail. As part of the Midwest's Tornado Alley, Hammond is susceptible to tornadoes, primarily in the spring and summer. It also encounters occasional flooding from heavy rain and melting snow. Despite these challenging weather patterns, Hammond delivers striking natural beauty across its four distinct seasons - a spectacle that more than makes up for any climate-driven inconvenience.

Typical weather in Hammond, IN

Economy & Job Market


Healthcare & Social Assistance

Retail Trade

Education Services

Accommodation & Food Services

Historically, Hammond has been known as a steel city; its close proximity to Chicago and position on Lake Michigan made it a thriving hub for heavy manufacturing during the mid-20th Century. With the changing global economy, Hammond, like many other Rust Belt cities, had to adjust. Such situations saw the city transitioning its economy towards diverse sectors. Nowadays, the trumpeteers of industry in Hammond are steel manufacture, healthcare and social assistance, retail trade, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The healthcare sector, especially, has seen monumental growth recently.

If you're thinking about moving to Hammond and the thought of job hunting here is drumming up your heartbeat, don't fret! The employment rate in Hammond, as of 2021, chimes in at about 94%, making it a sound choice for those seeking employment. The city's diverse industry palette offers opportunities across a wide range of fields. But, if you're looking to make the big bucks, healthcare or manufacturing are your best bets. Manufacturing, in particular, has been on a hiring spree for the last few years. So, pack up your things, put on your favorite playlist, crank up the volume, and set the navigation to Hammond! There's a job waiting for you here, and maybe a slice of deep-dish pizza, too.

Traffic and Transportation

Get ready, all you Hammond, IN globetrotters--Did you know that the average commute time here is 25.4 minutes? Yup, you heard right! That's below the national average. Plus, you'll have the awesome opportunity to take a backseat and let someone else take the wheel thanks to our convenient public transportation system. The mighty South Shore Line runs through several spots in town, meaning you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the views before your station stop. But what about your wanderlust, you ask? Fear not! Starbucks-sipping, aisle-walkers are just a hop, skip, and a jump away from two major airports--Chicago's O'Hare and Midway International Airports. So, whether you're commuting locally, or crossing oceans, getting around in Hammond, IN is just as easy as pie--and we think that's something worth writing home about!

What is the traffic like in Hammond, IN?

Best Neighborhoods in Hammond

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1. South Hammond

Shush! Do you hear that? No? That's because South Hammond is the epitome of quaint, quiet living. Nestled in the southwestern corner of the city, South Hammond has a wonderfully diverse community filled with an array of single-family homes that offer a tranquil, suburban vibe. Known for the beautifully renovated Hammond Civic Center, which is a major hub for local events, South Hammond also boasts a variety of eateries, retail stores, and parks. It's perfectly ideal for those who crave a harmonious blend of urban and suburban living.

2. North Hammond

If you want to be closer to the urbanite action, then North Hammond should be your go-to spot. This area is dubbed "The Gateway to Downtown" due to its proximity to Hammond's bustling city center. It offers an exhilarating fusion of cultures, cuisines, and entertainment. North Hammond is home to the illustrious Purdue University Northwest, bringing a youthful energy and richness to the area. Plus, if you fancy an evening stroll, the surrounding parkland is just begging to be explored.

3. Hessville

Made for the nature lovers, Hessville is enveloped in natural beauty. This neighborhood is celebrated for its ample trees, parks, and the iconic Wolf Lake. If you're up for an outdoor adventure, you can meander around the serene walking trails or canoe on the calm lake, making every day a splendid escape. Aside from the impressive green space, Hessville has incredibly warm and inviting neighbors creating a close-knit community that welcomes everyone with open arms.

4. Woodmar

You can't utter Hammond without invoking the nostalgic charm of the Woodmar neighborhood. With a mix of historic homes and new real estate, Woodmar offers architectural appeal that is sure to make any visitor swoon. But it's not just the housing that steals the show; Woodmar is home to the gorgeous Optimist Park and the popular Woodmar Mall. Whether you fancy a picnic in the park, a shopping spree, or a quiet evening in, Woodmar has got you covered.

5. Robertsdale

Come sunup or sundown, Robertsdale is a neighborhood beaming with life and warmth. Known for its impressive Lake Michigan beach access, you get to enjoy golden sunrise views right from your backyard. Away from the sandy shores, you'll find a rich culture, complete with unique eats and an ever-enthusiastic sporting spirit, thanks to Robertsdale's sports clubs. This definitely puts Robertsdale on the map as a well-rounded neighborhood with a laid-back small-town charm.

In a nutshell, Hammond is a gem in the Hoosier state, peppered with distinct neighborhoods each offering its own unique vibe. From South Hammond's peaceful allure, North Hammond's urban buzz, Hessville's love for nature, Woodmar's nostalgic appeal, to Robertsdale's beachy vibes, you'll have a plethora of options when it comes to finding your perfect little corner in Hammond, Indiana. Welcome home!

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Things to Do

Welcome to Hammond, IN! The city where the thrills never end. This city can seem daunting to newcomers since its unexpected charm and unique attractions make it look like it's lifted out of a storybook. However, we've got you covered! Allow us to put on our local tour guide hats as we unveil some of the top favorites things to do. Buckle up as we reveal seven of them - including some hidden gems most people haven't discovered yet.

1. Explore the Horseshoe Hammond Casino

The Horseshoe Hammond Casino is not only recognized for its high stakes and vibrant energy, but also for its live performances by popular artists, expensive dining choices, and outstanding shopping spots. This casino is a one-stop-shop for unending fun. Remember to bring your poker face along!

2. Take a Walk Down Hessville Park

Looking for some free fun? Take a casual stroll down Hessville Park. With its Frisbee golf course, picnic areas, and playgrounds, this place is the perfect spot for a relaxing family day out. Don't forget to pack a picnic!

3. Visit the Indiana Welcome Center

Another must-see is the Indiana Welcome Center, where you can catch various exhibits about the state's culture and history. Also, it houses one of the renowned "A Christmas Story" Comes Home display during the holiday season. It's so much more than simply a welcome center!

4. Take a Swing at Lost Marsh Golf Course

Why not take a swing at the Lost Marsh Golf Course? Renowned as one of the best public golf courses in the Midwest, it promises an enticing challenge for golf enthusiasts of all ages. The scenic view alone is worth the visit!

5. Inside Track on Stallbohm-Kaske House

This one is for history buffs! The Stallbohm-Kaske House tucked away in the Little Calumet River valley is a hidden gem dating back to 1873. It's a beautifully preserved piece of history that offers a window into the past and a tranquil nature preserve to explore.

6. Munch on Meals at Freddy's Steakhouse

Get embraced by the warmth of local culture at Freddy's Steakhouse. The traditional delectable steaks, coupled with live music, ensures a truly unforgettable experience. It is known as the "Torchbearer of Hammond's Dining Scene" for a reason!

7. Discover the Towle Theater

Not too many folks know this, but just off downtown Hammond lies the Towle Theater. It showcases a variety of innovative and original plays and musicals, sure to keep you entertained. Plus, it also hosts numerous local performances for a more intimate experience.

In conclusion, Hammond is a city replete with adventure, history, and entertainment. The city promises an exquisite blend of exciting activities that will make your move more than worthwhile. Welcome to the start of your thrilling journey through Hammond, IN. We guarantee there won't be a dull moment!

Things to do in Hammond, IN?

Find Movers for Your Hammond Relocation

Embracing the charm and lure of Hammond, IN, is already an exciting step towards your future. But as you plan the intricacies of your journey, connect with experts to make the process efficient and stress-free. We invite you to utilize the trusted service of Great Guys Moving. A leader in the industry, their commitment to connecting you with reputable, licensed, and insured movers assures your move is in the best hands. Don't hesitate! Harness the ease and effortlessness of this service and request your free moving quote today. Make your move to Hammond not just a decision, but an experience worth cherishing.

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