First time home buyer – questions mostly about finances and gift money (FL)

Hello all, hoping you can provide some advice.

My grandma is leaving me 80k as my inheritance, but she would like me to use it toward purchasing our first house now instead.

We would like to use most of it for the down payment but I am first going to use about 3k to pay off what remains of my student loan, and we would like to also keep a little to add to our savings account and for some new furniture and/or repairs needed (though we are not looking for a fixer-upper, so these should be relatively minor).

I wanted to wait to get preapproved etc until we had this money as I'm hoping paying off the loan might help my credit score, currently 690 and with a delinquency flag from about 5 years ago. My husband's credit score is in much better shape at 759. This is my main concern with the mortgage. I've been doing everything I can to get my credit score up and it's improved over the last year but I'm still pretty concerned about the impact it may have.

Where should we put this money in the meantime since we don't know exactly how much we will end up using for the down payment? (IE, we might use more of it for the down payment than planned depending on the house). Should one of us just put it in our personal checking and/or savings accounts and then move what is left after the closing? We have wanted to open a joint savings account, but haven't done so yet.

It's so hard to figure all of this out when we haven't even fully decided on what price range of houses we're looking at, haven't been preapproved etc. We make a combined gross income of 163,000 currently although in a month or so I will be moving up to a different position at my job that should come with a pay increase, I'm just not sure how much yet.

Thanks for any advice, I know this post is kind of a mess. I'm finding all of the financial aspects of this kind of overwhelming.

Also would love some opinions on how we're planning to use the 80k. My husband would like to put about half down, but I was thinking it would be better to go a little higher to lower what we would be paying over time? On the other hand, our savings outside of this are currently only a few thousand dollars, and I can definitely see the benefit of having a larger cushion.

Last question, should we talk to realtor now? Or would it be pointless before we figure out more of the financial stuff?

Thanks so much!

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