you can use an access point as a repeater. the also make wireless range expanders. they will pick up the wireless signal and then repeat. the ones i have used are flakey though and are a pain to reconfigure if you have wep or wpa enabled (which you should always).
linksys wre - are range expanders
i prefer to use the linksys wireless access points as range expanders though, because if you do need to reconfigure them, they can be plugged into the router and accessed much easier, you can manually enter in all the settings rather than trying to "discover" like the WREs
or if you were going to run a phone line anyhow, why not just run some cat5 from the router to the next house . get some conduit so it will last a long time, don't just have the cable buried or exposed to the environment