Q. We have heard horror stories about New Jersey’s use of the value of a vacation home to claim that we would still be residents, even if our primary home is in Florida. Our vacation home is on LBI and will most likely be worth more than our home in Florida. We want to be residents of Florida. Is our only option to sell the beach house?
— Florida first

A. You don’t have to say goodbye to your home on the Jersey shore.

The value of the home wouldn’t be a reason to sell. In fact, New Jersey looks at many factors in determining whether you are a resident here, said Gail Rosen, a Martinsville-based certified public accountant.

She said what state you spend your time in is one of the major factors that determines your residency.

“If you spend less than half of the year in New Jersey, and you are truly a Florida resident,there should be no problem,” she said.

So how to do you prove it? Keep records, Rosen said.

“You should keep a daily calendar each year to support your residency status,” she said. “The government can double check your calendar by looking at your credit cards purchases or cell phone bills.”

Rosen said other factors that support your residency status include where you go to work,where your kids go to school, what state your driver’s license is in, where you vote, where you register your car, what state your will conforms to, and if you apply for the homestead exemption in Florida.

Email your questions to ask@njmoneyhelp.com.

Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboozled column for The Star-Ledger and she’s the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Click here to sign up for the NJMoneyHelp.com weekly e-newsletter. Like NJMoneyHelp.com on Facebook and follow it on Twitter

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