The "average" cost for building a home in the Roseburg area, not including contractor profit, real estate commission, loan fees and other soft costs should be around $85 per foot for a single level home of average quality. This number does not include things like a sand filter septic (getting more and more common) or a very deep well...those are variables which apply to any rural property, which would include Melrose. I've been involved with both builders and buyers for over 25 years and will state that any sq ft number is false from the start, unless tied to a specific plan, as every plan has it's quirks and added costs.
I notice that you are in Virginia at present...as an architect, your wife will certainly be eligible and qualified to act as your contractor, but it would seem to me that local knowledge of subs and suppliers would have a great amount of value, even if only on a consultant basis. I am not offering my services for that task, but would be happy to recommend a couple of qualified builders.... more
First you determine your market. Families, singles, whether you want to sell or rent. Determine what you think you think you could rent or sell for. Then you have to start investigating good floor plans. Nice masters, big closets, nice kitchen, whatever your market has done that you could improve on.
You have to get bids on what it would cost to develop, ie roads, water, sewer. In my area you can estimate 26,000 per lot for water and sewer. You have to check zoning requirements, find a builder to give you a quote on building.