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You bought the home, built the picket fence, have 3.2 kids and even a dog. Now it's time for the little luxuries (like a swimming pool).
You can go the cheaper route and build an above ground pool (these are pre-designed pool kits that basically anyone can put together and are usually less durable than their inground counterparts). Also, because they sit above ground, they are generally built a bit smaller. On the other hand, if you are looking for something permanent that will add more value to your property, an in ground swimming pool is your best bet—not only can it stand the test of time, it also can be built into any shape you desire (depending on what materials you use).
*An inground pool might be the way to go if you live in a climate that actually has different seasons (strong winter winds could turn an above ground investment into kindling or rubble).