The main reason I buy rather than secure by way of an option is because ultimately the property is owned by you whereas with an option the property is owned by someone else.
The risks associated with controlling an asset without owning it can be a nightmare if not properly managed. One of my fears would be sinking a load of money to add value to the property and the owner waltzing back in, booting out the tenant and reaping the rewards of my hard work.
Yes I could go to court and sue him but would I really do that? The sort of people you would have secured these options with are people in financial difficulty so getting anything back from them would be unlikely.
Therefore I would have to manage a relationship with the owner which quite frankly would be tiresome on top of all the other things you have to do being a landlord.
So if you see options for sale tread carefully. Yes they are great if you cannot get finance but just be aware that an option is just a piece of paper with enforceable rights.