What Fans Don't Know About HGTV Star Joe Mazza

In recent years, HGTV has continued to demonstrate its mastery at identifying new talent to expand the reach of the network. Among HGTV's recent finds has been Joe Mazza, star of "Home Inspector Joe." Since the show's premiere in early 2022, the series has followed Mazza and designer Noel Gatts as they assist clients eyeing new homes to buy, ensuring they have all the information about that prospective purchase that may not be apparent to the typical layperson. "Joe is the fearless superhero we all want when we're buying a house," said HGTV president Jane Latman in a press release about "Home Inspector Joe." "It's easy to fall in love with a home's potential, but with his signature humor and heart, Joe makes sure his clients' eyes are wide open as they look to create their dream home."

Viewers have clearly connected with Mazza's dynamic personality and formidable knowledge of homebuilding; after just one hit season of "Home Inspector Joe," HGTV announced plans for a whole other series. Reuniting Mazza and Gatts, "What's Wrong with That House?" — scheduled to debut in 2024 — follows the duo as they utilize their combined expertise to assist homeowners about to tackle a reno by identifying and repairing any hidden problems ahead of time, saving them time and money in the long run.

To find out more about this fascinating TV host and real-life home inspector, read on to discover what fans don't know about HGTV star Joe Mazza.

How career burnout led him to the job of his dreams

Mazza may be a relatively new arrival on HGTV, given that "Home Inspector Joe" made its television debut in January 2022, but his experience in home building extends far beyond that. "My background is 20 years in the construction business in New York City," Mazza said in an interview with People.

As he explained, he found himself feeling burned out after years of working on projects in New York City and then commuting back home each night to Westchester County, where he lives with his family. That, he told the magazine, was when he decided to make a career change that would incorporate his years of experience by attaining a home inspector's license. 

"I was always hustling, working around the clock just to make ends meet. It was killing my body; I was missing my daughter's events and I never wanted to do something like that. I needed a change ... " he told American Home Inspectors Training, the organization from which he gained his professional certification. That decision not only shaved off countless hours spent commuting each day, it also provided something of a financial windfall. "One thing led to another, and I was making a lot more money as a home inspector than I was in the city for 20 years," he told People.

Home inspection allows Joe Mazza to put family first

For Joe Mazza, one of the biggest perks of being a home inspector is the ability to set his own hours; as a result, the days of missing out on family milestones and events have become ancient history. "Being a home inspector gives you flexibility and scheduling. If I want to work, I work. If I don't want to work, I don't work," he explained in an interview with American Home Inspectors Training. With that newfound freedom, he explained, he's able to schedule home inspections around his family obligations, and no longer has to miss out on a single moment with his wife and child.

Mazza and his wife are parents to one daughter, but recently welcomed another member of the family — a Cavapoo named Rosie. "She is the funnest, happiest pup in the world. And she just makes us laugh," Mazza told HGTV (Rosie, in fact, tends to appear in Mazza's Instagram feed even more than the two-legged members of the clan).

In one of those Rosie-centric Instagram posts, Mazza playfully scolds the barking dog. "Who does this pup think she is?" he wrote in the caption. "Talking back to me about not wanting to go to school."

He's developed a superhero-level sense of smell

Fans of Marvel superheroes should be familiar with Daredevil, a blind vigilante whose loss of sight caused his other senses to heighten to near-superhuman levels. Joe Mazza is HGTV's version of Daredevil; as he told Apartment Therapy, he went blind for more than a year after developing keratoconus, a disease that impacts the structure of the cornea. While he's since regained his sight thanks to dual cornea transplants, his olfactory abilities gained considerable strength during the 18 months or so that he was sightless. "My sense of smell kicked in," Mazza said. "It's pretty wild."

Mazza's smelling abilities have proven to have unexpected benefits in his role as a home inspector. "It's got a lot of pros with the job," he told HGTV, but admitted there were also some drawbacks. "Sometimes you don't want to smell certain things like dirty houses." On the job, however, his heightened sense of smell allows him to sniff out such unseen elements as mold, humidity problems, and even gas leaks. "I can walk into a house and be like, 'All right. We have a mold condition here,'" he told Realtor.com

Mazza is not unaware of the significance of this surprising gift. "That's my superpower," he declared during an in-studio appearance on New York City's PIX11 News (via YouTube). 

He's seen (and smelled) some crazy stuff during home inspections

During the course of his career as a home inspector, Joe Mazza has pretty much seen it all. One inspection, however, remains at the top of the list when it comes to both weirdness and creepiness. "I was in a house and there was a basement, and I was walking around and my feet were crunching. So I put the light down on the ground and I'm looking. I'm like, 'What the heck is this?' The floor was covered in teeth," Mazza recalled in an interview with Realtor.com.

Understandably, Mazza was more than a little unnerved, thinking he'd stumbled upon the next John Wayne Gacy or Jeffrey Dahmer. "It was gross and terrifying," he said to Culture Map Houston. Thankfully, he was able to breathe easier when he discovered the truth behind the teeth. "It turned out the guy was a tooth manufacturer and threw teeth in there a hundred years ago," he said, admitting he was relieved the teeth were fake and not the real deal. 

He's encountered even more horrific homes, including a few inhabited by hoarders who piled junk up to the ceiling. "Usually I'll just turn around and walk out. There's nothing I can do," Mazza said. He also recalled a home that housed numerous cats and dogs. "They didn't clean anything ever. I walked in and the hit of ammonia slammed me to heaven. I got dizzy and started gagging."

Joe Mazza has got a few nicknames

Over the years, Joe Mazza has picked up a few nicknames. One of these is connected to his killer sense of smell: the Mad Sniffer, a moniker he not only answers to, but has embraced to the point that he's even had his own T-shirts made bearing the epithet.

"I have a lot of nicknames, including 'Joey Buzzkill,'" Mazza told The News-Herald. "I'll go with first-time home buyers and walk into the house where all they see are these hopes and dreams. They say the house is beautiful and I'm like, 'Yo, would you stop, sit back and look at the house? It's falling down in front of your eyes.'" Mazza has yet another nickname, this one dating back to the 18-month period when he lost his eyesight due to keratoconus. "My friends started calling me Joey Bats because I was blind as a bat," he told Realtor.com. "So as a joke, it stuck, and that's my name now."

Regardless of his many nicknames, one thing that remains consistent for Mazza is the seriousness with which he takes being a home inspector. "The first thing I do is inspect a house as if I'm moving my family to it," Mazza told The News-Herald. "Once I have that mindset, I can't fail."

The unusual way that Joe Mazza was discovered by HGTV

Like many of the recent arrivals on HGTV, Joe Mazza was discovered via his presence on social media. As he told People, he felt it was his duty to help educate people about the kind of issues they needed to look for before making an offer on a home. "And I didn't know how to go about it," he recalled. "So I started doing Instagram and I started helping people across the country."

Those efforts really paid off in 2019, he told Culture Map Houston, when his Instagram page caught the attention of someone working for USA Today, who asked him to shoot a video geared toward first-time homebuyers. The exposure from that USA Today video brought him to the attention of HGTV. "They contacted me and said there was an opportunity for me to possibly have my own show. Fast forward, here I am. It was all through social media. It was me being me, just doing home inspections," he said.

Of course, it wasn't just Mazza's knowledge and expertise that attracted HGTV execs, but the animated manner in which he relayed that information. "My personality was a massive factor how I got the show," Mazza said, explaining that he's always tried to have fun, initially with his social media videos and later with his on-camera work for "Home Inspector Joe." "It's all about engaging your audience." 

He's got a lot of tattoos

Viewers of "Home Inspector Joe" may have noticed that Joe Mazza has more than a few tattoos. One of these runs down the entirety of his left arm, beginning at his shoulder and extending to the wrist, and pays tribute to those who lost their lives during the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001. That tribute in ink is a very personal one for him. "I was there when our Towers were hit!! I was there for 11 months cleaning that pit!! I dealt with family's [sic] daily that lost loved ones!! You have no idea what it was like experiencing this unless you were there. It was awful and the things I saw nobody should ever see EVER!!" he wrote in an Instagram post. 

As Mazza told Realtor.com, he received his first tat while appearing on TLC reality show "Miami Ink." That particular tattoo, he explained, is a humorous homage to his "Joey Bats" nickname. "It's on the inside of my right bicep," he said. "It's a bat holding two eyeballs."

Interestingly, Mazza told HGTV, he didn't receive that first tattoo until after he and his wife tied the knot, and he pointed out that two things his spouse isn't particularly fond of are tattoos and motorcycles. "And here I am, tons of tattoos and motorcycles," he quipped.

He's way into beard brushes

Joe Mazza is one of the many men who rocks a very specific look: no hair on the top of his head, accented by a full beard. And when it comes to that beard, Mazza is a big fan of personal grooming. In fact, he's been known to brandish a beard brush during his Instagram videos and can be seen brushing his facial hair while sharing his online home inspection tips. 

As Mazza told HGTV, it all began when he received his very first beard brush from his wife as a Christmas gift, which led him to give his beard the occasional brush while filming videos for social media. His Instagram followers began leaving comments about how much they enjoyed seeing him use the brushes, and he began making them a regular part of his online shtick. "Now I have a ton of beard brushes and definitely would like to come out with my own line of beard brushes very soon," he said.

As it turned out, fans didn't have to wait long before that came to pass. Mazza's website sells an array of his own branded merch, predominantly hoodies and T-shirts emblazoned with the show's title, his "Mad Sniffer" nickname, and more. Also for sale: a bamboo beard brush, imprinted with his logo and the words "Joe Mazza Home Inspector."

Joe Mazza has some serious advice for renters

In his dual roles as a licensed home inspector and the star of "Home Inspector Joe," Joe Mazza primarily works with homeowners, either those who own a home or are looking to buy one. 

However, his expertise also extends to those who rent their abodes, something that he made clear during an interview with New York City's PIX11 News. According to Mazza, a good place to start when considering renting a place is to inspect the central air-conditioning system and furnace. "Make sure it's serviced before you get in there, and make sure the filters are changed. I change mine once a month," Mazza said (via YouTube).

Mazza also advised prospective renters to ask whether there have been any fires at the property, and suggested renters bring in their own home inspector to check the place out. "Have somebody come in," he said. "Look at the electrical panel. Is it an old-school Federal Pacific panel — that [catches] fire?" 

Joe Mazza has 5 surprising things that homeowners need to inspect

What makes Joe Mazza so sought after as a home inspector — and attracts so many HGTV viewers to "Home Inspector Joe" — is his knack for zeroing in on problems that may not appear obvious. After placing himself in the mindset of inspecting each home as if it were his own, he then gives himself over to the process. "Then it's like I get into this weird zone, this state of mind where everything around me blacks out and I can almost see through the house," he told The News-Herald. "It's very weird. I don't know how to explain it."

He also uses that intuition — and, when warranted, his almost supernatural sense of smell — to seek out things that may elude lesser home inspectors. Speaking with Realtor.com, Mazza identified five things that he feels absolutely need to be investigated. The first two items on this list are the home's roof and siding, both of which can result in extensive (and expensive) damage throughout the home if they're left in a state of disrepair.

Other aspects include the state of the driveway. "When you have a driveway that was torn up like this one here, water's going to pool there, ice is going to build up, someone's going to walk out of the house, slip, fall, and get hurt," he explained. Finally, he advises looking out for galvanized pipes, which can corrode from the inside, and hazardous mold

Viewers can actually hire the star of Home Inspector Joe

Any homeowners with issues to investigate, or prospective homebuyers looking to get all the facts about a future home purchase, can surely learn a lot by watching Joe Mazza on HGTV's "Home Inspector Joe." Those who live near New York's Westchester County, however, can actually turn off the TV and hire the actual Mazza to come and perform an inspection. 

Or at least that's the conclusion that can be drawn after a little snooping into Mazza's social media. On the Facebook profile of his company, Joe Mazza Home Inspections, evidence suggests that the business was previously Exclusive Home Inspections — which still has an active YouTube channel featuring Mazza's smiling visage, alongside a promise from him: "I inspect every home like I'm moving my family into it." There's also a phone number featured on the homepage; according to Distractify, calling the number leads to a voice message that appears to be from Mazza.

Given how busy he's become, what with his booming business and a second HGTV series in the works, anyone who leaves a message and doesn't receive a response right away probably shouldn't take it personally. 

Static Media owns and operates The List and House Digest.