For me, gratuitous items include:
- Jetted tub. My wife is a "bath person" and we've always had houses with large bathtubs that she uses constantly. However, our most recent house had a jetted tub and she never used it - too much noise, and they can get dirty and break down if not used frequently.
- Formal living room. Never used them.
- Formal dining rooms. Very rarely do we ever use these for their intended purpose. Right now, my wife has all her crafting / scrapbooking supplies laied out over our dining room table.
- Finished basement. Thought we'd use it more in our current home, but nobody ever goes down there.
- A large yard. Our kids are older and like to either go outside and walk around our neighborhood, or they stay inside and use electronics. Our current home has a smaller yard but lots of bushes for privacy AND a park that the kids can walk to, which is fine with us.
On the other hand, here are some of my high-value items that others have labelled gratuitous IIRC:
- Wired Ethernet. My experience is that this is faster than wireless and generally more reliable.
- Home office. The key for me is that it needs to be on the main floor, close to where the rest of the family will congregate. We have historically used an extra bedroom as an office and we never used it. Our current home has the office on the main floor, and it gets used constantly.
- Granite. Easy to clean and very solid.
- Large kitchen and master bedroom.
- Bathtub - as per above, this is a must have for the wife. Just no jets