Homes are less likely to need gutters if the ground moves away from them. It's not as likely that a house on a hill will need gutters, because rain will flow naturally. A house surrounded by concrete may not need gutters either. Gutters weren't always as common as they are now.
In fact, they weren't commonly installed in residential homes until the mid-20th century. If your house was built a while ago, say between 75 and 100 years, it's possible that they simply weren't installed because that's not what the builders did. If your basement floods once, you might consider it a fluke. But if your basement floods more than once, even a little, it probably needs gutters.
Homes built according to the code are located on a slight slope to keep runoff away from the foundations. If rain falls from the roof because there are no gutters, the water causes massive erosion, dragging more and more dirt away every time it rains. This causes the carefully sloped landscape to wear away, allowing runoff to flow into your home instead of away from it. Some homes with particular qualities do not need gutters.
A house without a basement or a house with excellent landscape drainage may not even need gutters. Rain can fall from the roof of the entire house and slip off the walls, thanks to gravity.
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