....That is the question. For the most part, the professionals say, Yes. Over the years, I've been at close to if not more than a thousand home inspections. During the home inspection, inspectors usually will talk about the gutters or lack of them. They talk about their purpose and the reason for having them.
For the most part, they all agree that having gutters on the house is important. The main reason is to capture the water from the roof and help divert it away from the foundation, preventing any water penetration to the basement. Keeping rain from falling at the house entrances is vital to prevent water from getting behind the stairs, getting trapped and rotting sills. It can attract unwanted carpenter ants if it stays wet too long, not to mention keeping dry when you enter the home.
They all agree that homes with asphalt roofs should have gutters. However, some have voiced their concerns about installing gutters on houses with metal or slate roofs because ice and heavy snow can damage or pull off the gutters, becoming a nuisance. In that case, proper grading is even more critical.
It's one thing to have gutters. It's another to make sure they work correctly. Leaves and pine needles, and other debris can fill up gutters, and before you know it, they overflow, clog drains, and don't function the way they should. So, checking them for debris and doing regular maintenance is required. The other alternative is to get gutter caps, covers, or shields that allow water to enter but not debris.