Your home mortgage referee

By |2018-01-16T14:38:37-05:00December 16th, 2005|Uncategorized|

When Barb Smith isn’t helping some people find a way to buy the home of their dreams, she’s keeping others from running afoul of the rules.
Women’s National Basketball rules, that is. Smith, a loan officer and senior vice president for Citizens Bank, is also a referee for the WNBA, as well as NCAA Division I Women’s basketball.
“I like being part of something that has grown so big for women,” Smith said. When I started we washed our own uniforms and travelled by bus. Now we have national TV games and a women’s professional league that girls can grow up and dream of being part of.”
Smith explained that she became a ref because of her love of the game.
“I’ve always been athletic,” she said. “I played ball through high school and college. After graduating I did volunteer coaching, but that interfered with work, so I switched to refereeing junior high and high school and I moved on up the ranks.”
“I guess I’m pretty good, because they keep asking me to come back.”
Smith said that she loves refereeing for WNBA games for the same reason she loves her work with Republic – the people.
“I like the interaction with the players and the coaches,” she said of her work as a ref.
When it comes to helping people with their mortgages, “I like meeting new people, helping them resolve how to buy a house … figuring out how to help them get into something that’s one of the biggest expenditures of your life,” she said.
Of course, being a referee has other advantages as well; Smith spent Thanksgiving in the Virgin Islands. But, when she was interviewed by BTL in December, she had arrived in Pittsburgh, PA just ahead of a predicted major snowstorm.
“You’ve got to take the good with the bad,” she said, laughing.
Smith isn’t just an expert on WNBA rules. As a mortgage professional who purchased a home with her partner of twenty years, Smith is also aware of all of the extra hoops that same-sex partners have to jump through to protect their investment in their home.
Smith said that another benefit of her on-court passion is that it doesn’t interfere with her off-the-court job.
“It fits in great with my job because, now, people are so into the internet, applying online and talking over the phone that I can go on the road and still be in touch with my customers. It doesn’t matter where I am, I can still help my customers,” Smith said.
“I love … helping them go through the rigamarole that you have to go through to get mortgages these days,” she said.
Citizens Bank is located at 2100 S. Main Street in Ann Arbor. Call Barb Smith to talk about your mortgage needs or the growth of women’s basketball at 734-665-4080 x 241.

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.