You know, if our budget was about 25% higher - even 10% higher - our house would be a lot easier to find because houses at that price are available right now. We know that the house we want is out there; we've walked through the neighbourhoods and seen the houses. All we need is for someone to put our house up for sale.
We have talked about building a house but we'd very much prefer to buy a used house for a couple of reasons. First, we've never owned a house before and while we think we know what we want, it's possible that if it was built for us it wouldn't work (especially if we wanted changes to the standard plan). We don't feel confident in our ability to select the right layout.
Second, we want to live in an area that's already got landscaping and trees and stuff. We don't want to live in an area that's under construction because of the dust and upset and stuff.
Third, we'd prefer a house that's 10 or 15 years old because then the "new house" kinks will be worked out. Things will have settled or sunk down to some extent - possibly not completely, but enough for us to know where the settling will occur. Also, problems with roofing or skylights will be more obvious; like yesterday when we saw the ice dam damage. We can pick a used home that doesn't have too many problems but with a new house we'd be taking our chances, and we're not comfortable with that.
If we'd already owned a house and had to take care of maintenance, we'd be more comfortable building a house. As it is, we'd rather start a bit slower with a used house.
Of course if we haven't got a house by this time next year, we might change our minds on building something :)