Land is also at the "buyers" advantage, currently. You can purchase more land for the same or less as a few years ago.
There is much to determine. I would suggest talking you your local Realtor. A "LOCAL" Realtor can show you what is available and help you to consider your options.
1. Can you find an empty lot in the neighborhood you want to be in? If not can you buy a property at a low enough price in that same neighborhood to justify tearing it down and building a new one?
2. Do you have 2 to 3 years to wait and to invest your time until your new house is built? The 2 to 3 years of rent or mortgage payment you make while your house is being designed and built is part of the cost of the new house since you would not incur this additional cost if you just purchased and moved in.
3. Are you financing the construction or paying cash? Either way you have to count either the interest or the loss of gain(if you are paying cash) on your money, since you are using it to build the house.
4. where are you building? what kind of lot?What kind of soils? what kind of house? how big? etc.
Building will get you almost exactly what you want however, it is not an easy process, especially if you are married. It really puts a strain on a relationship. You really find out things about each other when you start having to make so many decisions. Just buying a house is tough.
I can help you with both. I am a registered Architect, Licensed General Contractor and Licensed Real Estate Broker. Call me and we can analyze your situation to help you.