No. What you are describing is earnest money. If you try to make the money you pay for the option refundable, or capable of being applied against the purchase price, then you do not have an enforceable option contract. Do not try to figure out any way to wiggle around this. If you are serious about using options to invest, then be serious about making sure you can enforce the contract when the seller finds out his or her property is much more valuable than he or she originally thought.