Joe Mazza is the latest handyman to get his own show on HGTV — but he's certainly not your average Joe.
The New York-native will be hitting small screens on Wednesday night with the premiere of his new series, Home Inspector Joe, which follows the home renovation pro-turned-home inspector as he helps his home-buying clients tour properties they love, ensuring they're checking all the boxes when it comes to finding the house of their dreams.
Now, despite being unbelievably excited about the series premiere, Mazza also feels a little bit like he's dreaming — because he wasn't always a home inspector, and he certainly never thought he'd wind up on TV one day.
"My background is 20 years in the construction business in New York City," the father of one tells PEOPLE exclusively, sharing that he got his home inspection license after experiencing "burnout" from all the years he spent working all day in the city then commuting back home to his family in Westchester County at night. "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 was also feeling a lot more self-actualized, he says, as he felt like he was helping his clients in their quests to find their forever homes — and he loved that feeling.
"I always said, I want to get the word out to homebuyers, homeowners, even renters, about what to look for in a house to better educate them," he says. "And I didn't know how to go about it. So I started doing Instagram and I started helping people across the country."
Mazza first made a name for himself in 2019, when USA Today asked him if he would want to be on a segment about first-time home buyers. "They found me on Instagram," he explains. "I was like, 'Wow, you're calling me? Okay!'"
That exposure proved worthwhile when got a call in July 2019 from a production company called RIVR Media, who had seen him in the segment. "They proposed an opportunity to have my own show on a major network channel. I honestly thought it was a joke. I didn't believe it," Mazza says. "So, I looked them up. I stalked them out. And they're legit, and now they are like family."
He agreed to fly to Tennessee to film a sizzle reel and Home Inspector Joe was born, allowing Mazza to reach even more people than he ever dreamed possible.
"I'm on cloud nine. I'm so grateful for everything that's happening. I have worked so darn hard, we've all have," Mazza says of his emotions pre-premiere, giving special credit to his co-star on the show, designer Noel Gatts, who he calls, "a phenomenal person."
"I have the energy I could probably run from here to Florida and back and not even take a sip of water!" he jokes.
When viewers experience the show for the first time, Mazza says he hopes they will "laugh and learn and just have fun," hopefully taking away something that can help them next time they're looking at a piece of real estate — a situation that isn't that uncommon for a lot of Americans.
"There's a high demand now," he says of the housing market. "Everyone is moving out of the city. Everyone wants property. They want land. They want space. A lot more people are getting educated [about homes] now. I've noticed that very recently."
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Not everyone can have Mazza as their home inspector, but watching what he does is the next best thing, he says, because he approaches every home as if it's one he's considering for his own family.
"First thing I do when I pull up to a house is I say, 'All right, Joe, your wife and your little Gigi [daughter Gia, 9] are moving into this house. What are we going to do to make sure this house is safe for them?'" he explains.
"I think that sets me apart from anybody else. I take it personal."
Home Inspector Joe premieres Wednesday, January 19, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV.