In answer to the construction cost question. Depends on where you build, the method of construction, the quality of the finish work, etc.

Rule of thumb, concrete construction, glass windows, mahogany doors and trim - $80 US per sq ft in town, $100 - 120 US out of town if you hire a general to handle all aspects of the job.

Wood could be a little less costly, easier to work with, faster construction - but durability could come into question during storm season and the insurance companies may choose not to offer coverage.