Washington Trust Co., a Rhode Island bank and subsidiary of Washington Trust Bancorp, expanded the reach of its residential mortgage lending operations into Massachusetts. Washington Trust adds its first Massachusetts office to 13 Rhode Island offices and three branches in Connecticut. The new branch, located in Sharon, Mass., will be staffed by 10 specialists versed in fixed-rate, variable-rate, jumbo and reverse mortgages and construction loans. The Massachusetts Washington Trust Home Loan Center will also offer Federal Housing Administration-ensured and Department of Veterans Affairs-ensured mortgages as well as home equity lines of credit. "This is a great time for Washington Trust to expand into the Greater Boston area with a residential mortgage office," said Stephen Bessette, executive vice president of retail lending, in a media statement. "The residential real estate market is showing signs of recovery and consumers are turning to community banks, like Washington Trust, for traditional mortgage options, trusted advice and personal service." Write to Diana Golobay.